For a while there I was under the impression that writing about our floral heritage was about as fashionable as darning socks. At least, if you’re wanting to be up with the now writers, you might think there’s not much mileage in a Dwarf Cornel. And yet, Nature Writing still has its place. I love Hughes’ poems, Pike and The Thought Fox. Reading the Flower Poems of Jon Silkin are a wonderful meditation. And many Not-Dead-Poets are still producing magical responses to the natural world in which they find themselves, such as Carole Satyamurti’s Explaining Zero Sum from the Snowdrop Hotel. For me, the whole categorising and sub-categorising thing seems an academic exercise. If a poem speaks to you, does it really matter what kind of a poem it is? Isn’t the point to keep your mind open and listening?
Needless to say, yesterday’s naturalists’ walk, led by a local botanist, certainly stimulated the poetic juices. So many beautiful species, including chickweed wintergreen, black medick, ladies’ bedstraw, marsh orchid and common spotted, as well as the dwarf cornel. Of course, like many species of wild flower, my poem about the Dwarf Cornel will take time to germinate and grow, though the seed is already firmly embedded in my notebook.