‘Great stuff, Huw! I Love ‘Doctor Stops.’ Sting.
Here’s thoroughly scurrilous poem written in response to a seemingly innocuous programme on Radio Four called ‘Walking A Poem On The Malverns.’ I’ve sent it into the BBC but doubt very much they’ll use it!
I’ve made a few references in my poem to William Langland. For those of you that don’t know, he wrote a very angry rant against the high-and-mighty, and the clergy in particular, in the thirteen-fifties. It’s called ‘Piers Ploughman’ and his dream sequence at the start of the book, which runs to hundreds of pages, is set in the Malvern Hills.
It’s sometimes said that prose gift wraps reality and so it does in Huw’s Clyro Diaries, in the sense that his lyrical and very closely observed descriptions, full of feelings and emotions, cut straight to the essence of things. He also has a gift for making the commonplace and everyday seem special, and as such Huw’s record of his life, and those of others around him, makes a great read. He is a worthy successor to Francis Kilvert, Clyro’s more famous diarist, and if I had to choose between the two of them I’d read Huw’s diaries any-day. And, though Kilvert tried his hand at writing verse, Huw is streets ahead of him in terms of rhythm, originality, significance and charm. An example of this are the opening lines of his poem about Worcester, where he writes, ‘Ever seaward slides the Severn – full line and length this river rolls, Past the county’s first eleven and half-a-million other souls. And by this shining river wide the old cathedral stands full square – Sunlit hulk of pinnacled pride and bastion of quiet prayer.’
June Hill, writer and critic.
The music for this podcast has been specially composed by David Cooper Orton, who plays it on the baritone ukulele. Many thanks, David, it’s the icing on the cake…..