Friday, 6 March 2020

World Book Day, Better Late Than Never...


The sea, the sea...

I know I am a little late for World Book Day, but I did not want the opportunity to pass without drawing attention to what seems to me a post that others might care to read on the wonderful Sea Library blog. Anna Iltnere draws our attention not only to Tove Jannson's first Moomin story, The Moomins and the Great Flood, but also to a year-long campaign launched by Moomin Characters Ltd. and their partners to try to eradicate blue-green algae from the Baltic Sea.

The Baltic Sea may seem a long way from my home in Suffolk, but we have come across notices along the river Orwell, only a few miles away from our front door, warning us of this same polluting and potentially harmful organism. Environmental pollution comes in many guises and is something that affects us all, and something that we should not view with complacency. Our oceans (and other waterways) are a vital resource for our planet, as numerous people, like Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg to name but two, are constantly reminding us.

But there was another reason why this particular post on the Sea Library blog attracted my attention. I have loved the Moomin stories since I was a child. We named three of our pets after these engaging characters. Jannson, it seems to me, was passionate about her work and developed her imaginative, artistic and literary gifts in ways that made the impossible seem (almost) natural, and certainly believable. She was extremely versatile, and even those who have not been attracted to Moominland have been enchanted by her adult works such as The Summer Book, reviewed here in The Guardian by Ali Smith.

Happy World Book Day, 2020
... for yesterday! 

P.S. I have ordered a new book of poetry from my wish-list: Staring at a Hoopoe by David Cooke. I wonder what you are reading at the moment.


Thursday, 16 January 2020

2020: the start of a new writing decade



I was up early this morning and able to appreciate the sunrise. New beginnings offer fresh opportunities, and I wait with anticipation to see what the new decade will bring in terms of developments in our surprisingly fast-moving poetry scene.

Healthwise, my new year did not start in the best of ways (shingles!), but I am encouraged by the fact that once again this blog has been included in Matthew Stewart's Rogue Strands list of The Best U.K. Poetry Blogs of 2019. Thank you, Matthew.

Thank you, too, to the December readers of Reach Poetry (Indigo Dreams Publishing), who voted my Warkworth Hermitage poem into 'The Box' for January. Endorsement from one's poetry peers is particularly welcome, especially when the vote is accompanied by a specific or constructive comment.

I wonder how much fellow poets plan their year and how much they go with the flow, depending on what opportunities arise. I remember setting a specific New Year goal some years ago, and sensing the satisfaction some months later in reaching the set target. Do you set specific personal goals? These days I tend to trade more in 'hopes' and 'dreams', but perhaps I should do more plotting and planning. Above all, I would like to commit to more incisive thinking and to a year of more reading, writing and submissions. In these uncertain times I want to experience that sense of wonder that poetry can offer.

But first I must knuckle down and tackle my record-keeping and my annual box of poetry filing...