Archives for nature

A poem to read in the bath… ‘Along the field as we came by’

Best known for A Shropshire Lad, the poems of AE Housman reflect the dooms and disappointments of youth in the English countryside. Popular throughout the Victorian and Edwardian periods running up to the Great War, this two stanza poem by Housman transitions from first romantic love to death and grief, followed by hope and new love. It was his simplicity of style that appealed, and his nostalgic nature settings. Here is the first verse. ‘Along the field as we came by A year ago, my love and I, The aspen over stile and stone Was talking to itself alone. ‘Oh, who are these that kiss and pass? A country lover and his lass; Two lovers looking to be wed; And time shall put them both to bed, But she shall lie with earth above, And he beside another love.’   ‘The Picador Book of Funeral Poems’ ed. by Don Paterson [UK: Picador] Read these other excerpts, and perhaps find a new poet to love:- ‘Cloughton Wyke I’ by John Wedgwood Clarke ‘Elegy’ by Carol Ann Duffy ‘Sometimes and After’ by Hilda Doolittle And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A #poem to
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Categories: Poetry.

A poem to read in the bath… ‘After a Row’

Winter Migrants by poet Tom Pickard is a collection of poetry and prose, starting with the prize-winning sequence ‘Lark & Merlin’, an erotic pursuit over the hills and fells of the poet’s Northern-English homeland. In truth, I could have selected anything from this slim volume, but ‘After a Row’ just caught my mood today. Because of copyright restrictions I am unable to reproduce the poem in full, but please search it out in an anthology or at your local library. ‘After a Row’ A lapwing somersaults spring, Flips over winter and back. After a fast walk – my limbs The engine of thought – up long hills Where burn bubbles into beck and clough to gill   ‘Winter Migrants’ by Tom Pickard [UK: Carcanet Press] Read these other excerpts, and perhaps find a new poet to love:- ‘Sometimes and After’ by Hilda Doolittle ‘Cloughton Wyke 1’ by John Wedgwood Clarke ‘Forgetfulness’ by Hart Crane And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A #poem to read in the bath: ‘After a Row’ by @tompickardpoet http://wp.me/p5gEM4-2UD via @SandraDanby SaveSave SaveSave
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Categories: Poetry.

Book review: A Sudden Light

How to define this story by Garth Stein? It’s a coming of age tale, a ghost story, it’s about forests and trees and about man’s responsibility to nature. I loved it, one of the best books I‘ve read this year and quite different from everything else. Garth Stein [below] is a new author for me. I was attracted to this book by three features: the ethereal cover, the setting in the Pacific North-Western corner of the US, and the family/saga ghost story combination. Trevor’s parents are separated. His mother has flown home to England for the summer while Trevor visits for the first time his ancestral home on the Olympic Peninsula outside Seattle. Trevor’s objective is to repair his parents’ marriage, he is not sure how. But from the first day he and his father, Jones, arrive at Riddell House on The North Estate, everything seems strange. The house is enormous, built by Trevor’s great-great-grandfather Elijah Riddell a century earlier, testament to Elijah’s riches earned from his logging business. It is a mansion, built from timber, set amongst trees, isolated and rotting. The house is at the centre of this story; its physicality, its history, what it meant to Elijah
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Categories: Book Love.

I agree with… Natasha Carthew

Natasha Carthew “When I started writing my first novel Winter Damage I found myself drawn to the outside countryside around me out of necessity. It was a way to clear my head and immerse myself fully with the world that my characters inhabited. “As a poet I have always written out of doors, the notebook and pencil stuffed into a pocket as I walked the cliffs and beaches of my home village as a child, something I was always used to carrying. To be engrossed in the countryside was to know inspiration was close, to be prepared and ready to write was to be lost in the moment. “When I sat down to write ‘Winter Damage’, from the time ideas started to form in my head to the final editing process the book was written entirely outside with the forever fields of South-East Cornwall as a backdrop and the stunning moors behind. It wasn’t long before the characters from the book sat down with me and trusted me enough to share their incredible story.” [excerpt from an interview with We Love This Book]  I love this idea of writing outdoors, but sadly get so involved at my computer screen that I
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Categories: On Writing.