An excerpt from the foreward by Sir Andrew Motion, President of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and
Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2009.
As President of the CPRE I’m delighted to contribute the Foreword in Dear World — an admirable initiative of the Cheltenham Poetry Festival — and proud to be associated with poems celebrating “the shadows, the meadows, the lanes” of rural England.
In the last three years, I have learned how to campaign to protect such sources of inspiration as we find in these poems. . .
The following poems appear in this treasury of thoughts from a variety of distinguished poets
Kathryn Alderman — Dear World
This committee commends
your ambitious renewal plan
which it finds well-evidenced.
You draw data from many millennia
and Global warning is a hot topic
However, despite the melting of
various parts, your mass remains
far greater than the sum … etcetera
and thus scientific rigour is
it finds, negated through
the observer observing itself.
This committee acknowledges
a decline in some species,
however, note Darwin C. (1859).
The industries cited as causing
decline donate billions
to your environment, therefore
Be assured of our continued thanks
for your protection these many years
Be reassured of our
to a safe, clean and profitable future.
Sean O’Brien — At the Solstice
We say Next time we’ll go away
But then the winter happens, like a secret.
We’ve to keep yet never understand
As daylight turns to cinema once more.
A lustrous darkness deep in ice-age cold
And the print in need of restoration
Starting to consume itself
With snowfall where no snow is falling now.
Or could it be a cloud of sparrows, dancing
In the bare hedge that this gale of light
Is seeking to uproot? Let it be sparrows, then,
Still dancing in the blazing hedge,
Their tender fury and their fall,
Because it snows, because it burns.