The Nature Walk

Once upon a time there was a radio programme called Children’s Hour, which featured regular Nature Walks. Now, with increasing urbanisation – look at highrises – the idea of country life as normal is being driven into poetry.(Or saved for TV viewing, as long as you stay at home.)
That’s where the obscured sunsets, the built – on, tarmacadamed fields have disappeared to – into the safe pages of poetry magazines.Neat. Problem solved.
The winning poem of a poetry prize in the 2000s was about the birth of a cow.There are few poems about cars, landfill, Bus stops, garages, streetlights, shopfronts, pavements, traffic lights,rush hours – the everyday experiences of all of us.
The poet may sit in a town flat, tenth floors up with no garden and no pets and yet write (convincingly) about fields, cows, sheep, mountains. But without a polluting car (x fatal accidents last year) they cannot go off to see a farm animal.
Nature-writing is also, of course, a way of avoiding politics or personal relationships. Wishy-washy sunsets offend no one.You can go mad, ladling on lovely adjectives too.
Poetry like this follows a formula as prosaic and ordained as any Byzantine artist with their list of permitted colours.
And yes, I have written on these subjects, but as a late New Years Resolution, from now on its going to be far more direct writing and less of the airy-fairy stuff.The sunset can look after itself, beautiful as it is.

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