Author: Lucy Crispin

the trees are down

For a few years now, my local council seems to have been on a mission gratuitously to cut down trees. I get that sometimes this is necessary; but the info-about-works relating to one copse up on the fell near my house gave, as the reason for felling, “felling”. Hmm. Another glorious maple on the green was cut down because it was a Canadian maple, and therefore non-native, and therefore… well, what?? So sad. I don’t know if it’s consoling (as in we read to know we are not alone) or even more depressing to find this poem, ‘The Trees are Down‘ by Charlotte Mew, in which the poet laments exactly the same thing. (There’s a rather good reading of it here.) It was written almost exactly a hundred years ago. Plus ca change.

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silent watches

The silent watches of the night haven’t been so silent of late. I live just round the corner from a popular pub, so some of the noise has had to do with En-ger-land (glad that’s over). But a lot has been generated by some extremely vocal owls who have, I swear, taken to sitting on a windowsill very near me in order to have protracted conversations in the small hours. It’s so loud! Fortunately, it’s lovely too.

Owls seem to be one of those things lots of poets bang on about. Edward Thomas’s ‘The Owl‘ is one of my favourites.

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pleasing news

A quick post to let you know that I’ve recently won the Ware Poetry Sonnet Prize, with the poem I wrote for my mother shortly before she died. The competition was judged by the splendid, and local-to-me, Kim Moor. It was interesting reading her judge’s report because…

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reasons to write part 1

Louise Glück, winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for literature, has said: “Writing is a kind of revenge against circumstance… : bad luck, loss, pain. If you make something out of it, then you’ve no longer been bested by these events.” That makes so much sense to me. Sometimes writing does feel alchemical (in intent, anyway!), and reading Gluck’s comment inspires me to share one of the poems where I was attempting to turn base metal into gold…

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spending time with Ted Kooser

Nigel writes: I don’t know if you’re the same but I have on my shelves a small collection of poetry books which I constantly revisit. Like old friends I can rely on them to lift the spirits when they’re low, distract me for a pleasant hour or two, and offer me words of wisdom and inspiration when I need them.

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a guest

I’m delighted to let you know that this week’s poetry column will be guest-authored for us by Nigel Kent, a poet and reviewer who’s a fellow Hedgehog Press poet. His piece will be out on Thursday at 11, as usual, and will look at a piece by Ted Kooser. I’m looking forward to being introduced to a new poet. See you then!

answering light

Someone brought ‘Child waking’ by Edith Scovell to the 42 group last week. The poet’s name was vaguely familiar but I had no sense of her work. I loved ‘Child waking’, though, so since then I’ve been scuttling about the interweb looking for Scovell’s work. And I give you: ‘Deaths of Flowers‘.

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