January is poetry month!

Photo by Andy Brunner on Unsplash
Polar bear

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.

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