Sunday, February 21, 2010

The River Hull ... and poetry

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)


Anonymous j and h said...


Jan 1st and Feb 14th...

Let's hope that it is a healthy and productive one.

It's been a while now since I last took a glimpse into your life, and I thought that I had been busy! River Hull looks peaceful,and your nature study notes reminded me of a walk H and I took along by the estuary and spotted two Kingfishers, they flew around us in a quarter of a mile radius, swooping and skimming the water, dancing through the tree's and bushes as they went - being part of their ritual startled us afresh.

As a child living in Oxfordshire, I used to spot hares in the countryside too. I don't remember when I last saw a hare...walking along the Cornish coast near Charlestown, H and I saw evidence that suggested there were some around. Perhaps as children we were able to spend so much more time in fields than we do now.


5:00 PM  
Anonymous babshorton said...

Last hare I saw was 1970 in a clearing in a wood near Great Missenden in Bucks. Beautiful it was too - worried me a bit though because in my childhood Welsh folk lore said that seeing a hare meant an imminent death. Babsx

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Carolyn Eddy said...

Hello Martin,

It's been a while...I hope you're settling well into your life in Hull.

I came home from school one day (this was back in the mid 70s) to find my mum greeting me at the front door with a hare in her arms. I can't recall where it came from or why she had it but 'Popsy' became my pet. There is silent film footage somewhere in my parent's loft, of me chasing the poor hare around the garden in an attempt to get her into the hutch for the night.

Popsy was the first and last hare I think I've ever seen, anywhere.

All the best

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Beryl said...

Hi Martin, I spotted a hare from a train window just the other day and saw another very close from a a coach window last year. Lucky me! They are still around in Yorkshire, lopping solitary across the, maybe soon you'll see one too! Beryl x

11:38 PM  
Anonymous j and h said...

excellent. Martin, it appears that you have established a bit of a 'March hare festival'...jacqui x

2:50 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

Hooray for all these hares! Good ti know they're still in Yorkshire at least. We used to have a couple of our land in Santa Fe (well jack rabbits, strong cousins). It was good to have the hares, the coyotes, the bears and I've wondered how they all managed to live together.

9:16 AM  
Blogger pundy said...

Lots of hares in Aberdeenshire, especially this time of year. Magical creatures, driven by sex. Like people really, only nicer.

9:32 PM  

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