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Poetry in motion!

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The village of Chesterblade must be one of Somerset’s most closely guarded secrets. 

Nestled timelessly below the huge Iron Age fort they call The Knoll, the village is a small gem: off the beaten track and undeveloped yet steeped in a long pastoral heritage, its buildings, agricultural and domestic alike, solidly built for purpose.

Those buildings glowed in the gradually westering sun as 20 people and a busy little dog called Ivy set off last Sunday afternoon for the third of the “Poetry in Motion” walks celebrating poets and authors with strong connections with the local area. 

This time the theme centred appropriately on the recently-published book by Ed Green “It leaves me the same”(available at Hunting Raven bookshop) This poignant work brings together the letters of Ed’s great-uncle Allen who joined the First World War shortly before its end as a lad of 19 and who was tragically killed in action less than a week before the Armistice.

The walk, cold but sunny, was punctuated by stops to hear readings by Ed from his great-uncle’s letters home and of poems from the war by such as Wilfred Owen, Sara Teasdale, A E Housman and the present Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, movingly read by Martin Bax and Crysse Morrison. The experience was all the more powerful because it was outdoors on the same soil that the young Allen Green had trodden more than a hundred years ago.

The high point of the walk was the steep scramble to the top of the ancient Knoll which dominates the countryside around it and gives spectacular views in every direction. The reward at the end was a splendid tea at the home of Ed’s parents, Mr and Mrs Allen Green.

Many thanks to John Payne for arranging the walk.

Reviewed by Des Harris


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