Ten Poems from the Coast
Selected and Introduced by Miriam Darlington
The British archipelago has over 7,000 miles of coastline – everything from limestone cliffs to muddy estuaries and from sand dunes to saltmarshes. These landscapes – and others far beyond – are reflected in these glorious poems.
We find mudflats and wild Scottish shorelines, along with a ballad celebrating the shingle of a Suffolk beach where:
“The shelving’s steep
With stones to skim
As if they’d feet
To hop and skip
Across the deep…”
from ‘The Ballad of Shingle Street’ by Blake Morrison
Everywhere, there’s a sense that we go to the land’s edge to escape the hurly-burly of our daily lives. Being close to the ocean is “as near as we come to another world” as Anne Stevenson says in her paean to the North Sea.
Cover illustration by Sam Cannon.
Donation to Surfers Against Sewage.