Thursday 16 November 2023

πŸ“– Book Review ~ The Winter Hedge : Walks in a Deep Lane by Miriam Darlington

Candlestick Press
November 2023

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this pamphlet

We barely notice hedges; there is something intrinsically marginal about them – although they are likely to seize our attention when they shine with blackberries or when a bramble snags a favourite garment.

In her evocative and absorbing prose piece, leading naturalist Miriam Darlington walks one of her local Devon hedges in winter, putting it centre-stage. Every step sees her paying close attention to the creatures who shelter in it and to the plants that sustain them. At every moment, her senses are vividly alive to the hedge’s raw beauty in this harshest season of the year:

“Rosy-purple twigs of dogwood, sleeping moths amongst the towering beauty of oaks, bark textures fresh and bare, lifting your mood, twig by knotty twig. Black ash knuckles. King Alfred’s cakes. Hart’s tongue ferns. The earth smells of old thorns, dog rose and ropes of dried honeysuckle…”

This is a pamphlet to return to again and again, as one might repeat a favourite walk.

Poems by John Clare and Katharine Towers.

Cover illustration by Niki Bowers.

Donation to the Woodland Trust.

πŸ“– My Review..

There’s something very special about a well formed hedge as not only does it provide protection from the elements but it’s also home to a myriad of creatures, some so small you’re hardly aware they are there whilst others make their presence known with crisp crackles and soft shuffles.

In The Winter Hedge, Miriam Darlington takes us with her on a journey as she shares the simple pleasure of walking with her dog and appreciating the beauty of the hedge in winter. So much to see in this comprehensive world which we so often pass by without opening our eyes and ears to the sights and sounds all around us. Beautifully evocative we share in her pleasure as she takes a walk in a deep lane and appreciate, with her, the quiet majesty of nature sharing its secrets.

We all need quiet space in this busy life and especially as the festive season approaches when quiet moments sometimes desert us. Reading this quietly reflective piece of prose has been such a pleasure and gave me such a sense of peace and a deep appreciation of the restorative power of nature and a lovely connection to the natural world.

There are also two lovely poems to enjoy:

Hedge by Katharine Towers and From the hedge bottom where the ivy runs by John Clare

This lovely pamphlet would make the perfect gift for anyone who appreciates nature or instead of a card over the festive season.

About the Publisher

Candlestick Press is a small, independent press publishing sumptuously produced poetry pamphlets that serve as a wonderful alternative to a greetings card, with matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message. Their subjects include Mountains, Clouds, Walking, Birds, Wine and Happiness. Candlestick Press pamphlets are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, galleries and garden centres nationwide and available to order online.

X @poetrycandle

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.