Writer's retreat

Writer's retreat

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Poems of Place

Poems are such personal forms of literature.

Last Night there was a programme on BBC4 about the lavicious lifestyle of Lord Byron. I knew very little of his life story, not surprising when you think I studied his poems whilst attending an all girl's school where such things were never discussed. I loved his Prisoner of Chillon, not realising how Byron associated himself with the ancient stories of an imprisoned freedom fighter.

Rupert Everret rowed over to the Isle where both Byron and Shelley left their names carved into the dungeon rocks as grafitti. It brought a sense of being able to touch the past by visiting the present.

Sometimes I feel the same way about places I visit. Our recent trip to Northumberland inspired me record a memory of one of the Caravan Club Certified locations. There wasn't time for me to write such a beautiful and carefully crafted ode as Lord Byron, but it was enough to win me second place in the Solihull Writer's workshop annual poetry competition judged by the Birmingham poet laureat, Chris Morgan. Brenda Langmead won first prize, with her poignant memorial to her great aunt.

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