With increasing urbanisation, the ideals of country life are being eternalised by (or driven into) poetry. that is where the obscured sunsets, the built-on, tar macadamised fields have disappeared to. – into the safe pages of poetry magazines.
In some cases, magazines are fighting against this trend, however ‘green’ poetry sneaks in, pervasive as it is. Winners of recent prizes were poems on the birth of a cow; swallows returning, the course of a river. There are few poems about city streets,cars,rush hour, landfill, rubbish,bus stops,supermarkets – the everyday experience of all of us.
The poet, whether male or female may sit in a town flat with no garden and no pets and yet write convincingly about fields, cows, sheep, mountains. Without a polluting car, most people cannot go off to see real farm animals.The ‘nature poet’ has to be a visitor only.
Poetry is following a formula as prosaic and ordained as any Byzantine artist with their list of permitted colours.We all hark back to before the clearances, it seems; to that era before our forbears were sent into the cities and ripped away from an agrarian society. Saved, like watercolours, the land we belonged to can go on existing, re-created in the symbols we scribe away at, trying to catch the past,paper instead of soil.