Author Adam Nicolson has been long drawn to the Lakeland Poets, he told a full audience at the Methodist church last Tuesday, September 17, as part of the Arts Festival.
Nicolson, the grandson of Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicolson, said that rejecting the norms of literary criticism that he had found boring at university, he was led towards physically experiencing the natural landscape from which the poets themselves derived inspiration. He believed this would throw light upon how poetry is made and written.
Walking by day and by moonlight, they immersed themselves in nature’s world – as Adam Nicolson described it: “escaping the supervisory mind and allowing thoughts to happen in the body, not an intellectual affair but a matter of being, an engagement with literature through the physical senses”. The colours and rhythms of nature create open spaces for the mind, of both poet and the reader of poetry, to contemplate the deeper meanings of life.
The story of the writing of the book, The Making Of Poetry, was skilfully woven in a three-part discussion between Alex Preston, author and journalist, with Tom Hammick and Adam Nicolson. Using fallen timber on the estate rented by William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, Tom Hammick fashioned wood panels as the substrate for his woodcut illustrations forming a creative dialogue with the text in producing a beautiful book. Yet, said Alex Preston: “There is no manifesto in this book; it is co-authored by the place in which it is written, and itself a thing of great beauty.”
The book is on sale at the Rye Bookshop, price £25. Tom Hammick’s woodcuts are on display in an exhibition at the Rye Art Gallery for the duration of the Festival.
Image Credits: Veryan Pollard .