7 October 2021


Today, October 7th,  has been National Poetry Day in England. Why our country requires such a day I  have never been entirely sure. Arguably, every day of the year should be a poetry day.

Nonetheless, to mark this special day I thought I would craft a poem. I had an idea. I was playing around with the term "wild places" and thinking about the long walks I have undertaken in the last decade. Walks to remote reservoirs, across bleak moorland, down into wooded valleys or along clifftops. I have been to so many wild places.

Visiting wild places  - especially on your own - can be quite spiritual. You're not just walking for exercise or to capture great pictures with your camera, you are also often walking to soothe your soul and drink in some of the sustenance that Nature can provide. 

And so for a couple of hours I played around with two different approaches to this poetic notion. I made some lines and rhymes and allusions that satisfied me and seemed to be giving substance to the core idea I was pursuing. Unfortunately, it did not come together as completely as I had hoped it would and so as midnight approaches I have decided to leave both poems on the back burner.

Perhaps there'll be time for further crafting tomorrow or early next week. There'll be no time over the weekend as we are heading down to London on Saturday morning.


  1. National poetry day is needed as few people will sit down and write a poem. Sadly very few people will stop and read a poem.

  2. I live in Canada right next to a huge, thousands of acres, wild woodland park. We visit and wander the trails, reflect on the beauty of our environment and recharge our souls - frequently.

  3. I'm sure the muse is gestating a poem in your subconscious YP. Enjoy Down sarf.

  4. Happy Birthday, Neil!
    What you say about wild places (and walks in general) resonates strongly with me, as you know. Soothing one's soul - that is one big, big advantage of my lone walks, and I dread the day when I won't be able to do them anymore for reasons of health/old age.

  5. I am most definitely not a poet but admire "those who can".
    Looking forward to reading your finished work.
    Have a safe trip.

  6. Perhaps the idea of the Poetry Day is to encourage more people to read poetry?
    After having seven years of mainly traditional poetry drummed into me at school, I find that it's not something I often bother to read these days.

  7. I have a book of poems mostly written in times of stress like when our eldest son left home to go into the Air Force and when my Mum died. They seem to empty my feelings out into words but they have to come naturally, I don't seem to be able to make them up for no reason.

  8. You're brave heading south of Watford, YP. Are your feelings towards us southerners warming? It struck me how lucky you are to go wandering in so many wild places. Even before the Sarah Everard or Sabina Nessa cases, I have always felt uneasy walking alone in wild places.

  9. Anonymous11:41 am

    London! Big smoke! Re your poem, publish and be damned in a raw state rather than polish it until the cows come home. What is written raw is closer to the truth.

  10. My doctor prescribed taking walks some years ago, in part, for my mental/emotional health. There's just something about being out in nature alone...

  11. I have never been gifted enough to write or really enjoy poetry. About as close as I can come is enjoying a well crafted song lyric now and then. I do wish I was better at writing and reading it with enjoyment.

  12. I know many people who buy literary fiction but never read poetry.

    I do not know how poetry imprints survive.
    Bloodaxe in Newcastle, Carcanet in Manchester, Peterloo Poets, to name a few.
    Peterloo is run by Harry Chambers in Cornwall: he uses good quality paper too.

    Friends look puzzled because I (no poet) am obsessed with metre, rhyme, prosody.
    I am also fascinated with pianos but do not play; with painting and sculpture but do not draw or paint or sculpt.

    Thanks to the Internet I have discovered landscape painters almost abstract like the later sky paintings of William Turner.

    David Prentice, Peter Iden, Anne Boisseau, Sarah Woolfenden, Andrew Marr, Anthony Bridge. Real talents. Their pictures are like poetry and music and dance.

  13. I used to write poetry and short stories, but don't feel as creative these days.

  14. I am sure that we will all love your new poetic adventure once you are satisfied with it. What a coincidence. The Princess is spending the night on The Island in Wraysbury so that they might fly from London back home tomorrow. I hope dear Phoebe is a wonderful, good girl for her mommy and daddy on her big adventure.

  15. The title of this made me wonder if Phoebe was going to be a big sister!

  16. Must admit that my first thought was the same as Jennifer's!


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