When I walk on the moor poetry helps me see what’s around me. As I’ve written before in the Moodscope blog discussions, I’m guided by the inspirational poetry of Gerald Manley Hopkins. There are three things I look out for.
The first is the kestrel that hawks over the rough meadows at the top of the lane, a “dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon”. There must be plenty of voles there amongst the grass and sedges.
I’m usually an early riser, so my second is the dawn breaking over the moor, when “It will flame out, like shining from shook foil”. The majesty of it takes my breath away every time.
The third is towards the end of my walk, when I am coming down off the moor into the valley woods. Here, on rough bark boles of the big ash trees are the “dappled things” of lichens and mosses.
At times when I’m struggle with anxiety and have difficulty getting out of the house and into the rejuvenating arms of nature, the poems help provide a pathway.
Hopkins suffered from depression, he once burnt all his poems and at times vowed to give up poetry. Very few of his poems were published in his lifetime. I’m glad they survived and can help guide me on my walks.
Do you write poetry as a way of expressing yourself, and do you find poetry useful as a guide in life?