I'm new to Hull
, and sought life along the River Hull yesterday. Two anglers sat by a bridge listening to Talk Sport
on the radio in between them, but I saw no signs of fish. Seagulls flocked in a bright white twist over an attached reservoir, and a single moorhen splashed into the rushes. Birds sang in the backyards of houses, but that was it for my nature study.
As a kid I used to keep a nature diary - 'hares boxing in field' etc, always something of note. I've not spotted a hare in a British field for decades.
Poets from Hull, and my university colleagues to boot, shared a Philip Larkin Centre
reading this week: Cliff Forshaw
from his new collection Wake
, and David Wheatley
interspersing selections from his newly edited Samuel Beckett: Selected Poems
and new works of his own. They have different reading styles: Cliff more oracular and performative, line-breaks clear in his recitation, a fusion of some grand old tradition of delivery and the new; David more subdued, faster, jocular. Both poets spread their interests wide, but both do gather Hull and the region into their work, in ways that give me hope that if I just walk a little further along that river, the natural world will startle me afresh.
(Poet photos by Inna Wagner)