Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Surprise Subjects (1): Sugar Poetry

I try to keep an eye open for unusual poetry collections. The latest one to catch my eye is The Sugar Poetry Book: images and insights from a sugar era. The book is a poetic response by the Kittisivian and Nevisian islanders to the history and decline of the sugar industry in a part of the world that has seen so much change over the centuries.

I grew up in rural Norfolk, UK, where the view along the river Yare was dominated by the sugar beat factory at Cantley (for our sugar was beat, which can now be used as a bio-fuel). When my family moved to East Anglia in the 1970s, coypu roamed the river banks near our home. I feel a certain wistfulness when I think that these creatures are no longer there, but I know that they did immeasurable damage to the beautiful but fragile waterways and wildlife habitats of Broadland.

Postscript 4 February 2009: a penduline tit was spotted at Strumpshaw near Cantley. Source: Rare Bird Alert.

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