The word countryside conjures up all manner of landscapes. It can suggest woods or high moors, mountains or farmland, meadows or gentle chalk hills. In fact, the countryside is everything that isn’t town or city, which is probably why we’re so drawn to it.
These poems selected by Irish poet Seán Hewitt explore the countryside in all this variety. There are moments of pure rhapsody with larks singing overhead, alongside encounters with bad weather and poor soil to remind us that it’s not all bliss and beauty.
Together the poems capture the consoling rhythms of the seasons as they are played out in our rural landscapes:
for as earth
Rolls on her journey, so her little fields
Ripen or sleep…
from ‘The Land’ by Vita Sackville-West
Whatever countryside suggests to you, we’re sure you’ll be delighted by this beguiling selection.
Poems by Kayo Chingonyi, John Clare, Helen Dunmore, WD Ehrhart, Vona Groarke, Jen Hadfield, Seán Hewitt, Claude McKay, Vita Sackville-West and Sara Teasdale.
Cover illustration by Sam Cannon.
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