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Good evening, fellow poets and friends! It is a cold night here in the UK, but spring is on the way, as the birds reliably inform me every morning!

It is with both sadness and gratitude that I announce this will be my last prompt for dVerse: sadness to be leaving, and gratitude for all I have learned, and for the friends I’ve made along the way. I may write to prompts from time to time, but work commitments with EIF mean I will no longer be able to host.

Ever since I began writing poetry as a child, my poems have been obsessed with place and space. It isn’t only in writing, however: this obsession begins in my heart, and grows in my mind. I don’t doubt that this has something to do with the place in which I grew up, in the shadow of the Lake District fells, along the watershed of the river Eden. In childhood, I would refer to the former as ‘The Blue Hills,’ as this is how they would appear to me along the horizon. As I grew up, I became more familiar with them, and began to climb them. They still represent my playground, and most beloved place in all the world!

With this in mind, I urge you to write the poetry of the places and/or spaces which inspire you the most. It does not have to be natural scenery: choose a cityscape or even a cinema or shopping mall if you prefer. I simply want to know how place and space move you, and which places and spaces mean the most to you.

Here is some inspiration from the poets of the past…

Anahorish – Seamus Heaney

My “place of clear water,”
the first hill in the world
where springs washed into
the shiny grass…

London – William Blake

I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear

How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls

But most thro’ midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse

From ‘The Prelude’ Book 1, William Wordsworth

And now, as suited one who proudly row’d
With his best skill, I fix’d a steady view
Upon the top of that same craggy ridge,
The bound of the horizon, for behind
Was nothing but the stars and the grey sky.
She was an elfin Pinnace; lustily
I dipp’d my oars into the silent Lake,
And, as I rose upon the stroke, my Boat
Went heaving through the water, like a Swan;
When from behind that craggy Steep, till then
The bound of the horizon, a huge Cliff,
As if with voluntary power instinct,
Uprear’d its head. I struck, and struck again
And, growing still in stature, the huge Cliff
Rose up between me and the stars, and still,
With measur’d motion, like a living thing,
Strode after me. With trembling hands I turn’d,
And through the silent water stole my way
Back to the Cavern of the Willow tree.
There, in her mooring-place, I left my Bark,
And, through the meadows homeward went, with grave
And serious thoughts; and after I had seen
That spectacle, for many days, my brain
Work’d with a dim and undetermin’d sense
Of unknown modes of being; in my thoughts
There was a darkness, call it solitude,
Or blank desertion, no familiar shapes
Of hourly objects, images of trees,
Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields;
But huge and mighty Forms that do not live
Like living men mov’d slowly through the mind
By day and were the trouble of my dreams.

I look forward to visiting the places which inspire you! See you on the poetry trail…


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