I recently spend time in Grasmere and having a tree motif in my current sequence of poems caused me to take more notice than usual of trees I encountered on our walks. In particular I noticed, which I haven’t before, a number of trees growing on top of big blocks of concrete - creating a root ball mounted on stone plinth effect. A strange and intriguing mix of natural and man made materials some how suggestive of writing poetry!
My favourite walk was from Grasmere to Ambleside. We stopped off to look around the surprisingly interesting grounds of Rydal Hall - I took the photo below after coming out of the stone tunnel into a swathe of green created by moss, leaves, grass...so although the weather had turned pretty cool the extra moisture had the effect of refreshing the greens, browns, yellows, oranges, greys...wonderful!
Lovely to receive a very kind first review of Maps and Love Songs for Mina Loy by James Sutherland-Smith in The Bow-Wow Shop.
It has been a pleasure to be reading Dante's Inferno and revisiting Ovid's Metamorphoses during the recent hot weather. In particular, Ovid's descriptions of landscape, which evoke contrasts of hot sunshine and the cool of shady groves, have been fitting to sitting outside baking in the sun (my yard has no shade unless I hang sheets to create a makeshift gazebo).
Back inside now in the cool I am drafting another section of poems which are intended as part of my research project. The first 3 poems came in a flurry - the last 2 are being more reluctant to give themselves over. I have been letting them settle for a couple of days - it seemed perhaps I was manipulating the words in a way that made them become awkward on the page in contrast to the ease of settling carried off by the words in those first 3 pieces. I came to realise I was persevering with a kind of forcing to fit that is never going to work (a glass slipper effect?).
I have put the draft of poem 4 to one side in order to start again fresh as the lines I had were distracting and preventing me from being able to rearrange the material. Time has come to revisit them so here's hoping I can get back to some of the heat of the first 3...