My New Year’s resolutions this year were twofold. The first was to make soup rather than buy it. Sounds odd but I am getting worried about the amount of plastic that I put in the recycle bin and thought this was a way to cut down. And it tastes better!
The second was to brighten up one of the darkest months of the year by reading lots of poetry. I have thoroughly enjoyed a collection by Wales’ National Poet, Gillian Clarke, called Ice. It starts with a brilliant poem remembering a cold day during her childhood when she was lying on an antique polar bear rug and wishing it would come alive.
He’s pegged by his claws to the floor like a shirt on a line.
And she imagines him
with belly and breath and growl and beating heart
Do read the full poem – it is a joy. It brought to mind Lyra and the His Dark Materials; other childhood hero animals, like Aslan: I love the way poetry sparks off these connections. The rest of the collection is full of gems too.
So if you haven’t read some poetry for a while, join me in making January poetry month. It is much better than joining a gym.