The British landscape has produced some of the most powerful and unforgettable poetry ever written. Here acclaimed young poet Owen Sheers takes us on a journey around Britain, and through the great poems that have been inspired by its varied and dramatic scenery.
Travelling from village to mountain, clifftop to city, woodland to heath, Owen reveals the stories that lie behind the poetry of our landscape, and the poets who captured it. Here are voices both historical and modern, from William Wordsworth's sonnet 'On Westminster Bridge', celebrating the beauty of a London dawn, to Sylvia Plath's 'Hardcastle Crags', a potent and visceral evocation of the Yorkshire moors. There are poems from across the length and breadth of the British Isles, among them Matthew Arnold's meditation on love and faith, 'Dover Beach', Lynette Roberts's 'Poem from Llanybri', depicting the security of a close-knit Welsh village community, Louis Macniece's 'Woods', a tribute to the rural Dorset of his childhood, and George Mackay Brown's 'Hamnavoe', an elegy for his postman father on the windswept island of Orkney.
Exploring how the vital, ongoing link between place and verse has enriched our literary heritage and our sense of national identity – and continues to do so – this book is a celebration of the poems that have become part of the way we see our landscape.