Finished reading De Botton’s ‘Art of Travel’ last night, in time to consider his ideas about Ruskin and observation and seeing your local world with fresh eyes, all things I’ve seen and advocated in my poetry at various times. Tonight I walked down along the stone wall at Hawker Beach with a high tide and late afternoon sun making the spray and waves rebounding against the wall light up and splash across the path. I could follow a line of swell and energy as it crashed along the wall, and hear the hollow sound like a gun going off somewhere a long way away. The Art of Travel
Strange sometimes how one thing leads to another; how going to a poetry reading, or buying a new book of poetry, or meeting up with another writer for coffee can get you thinking about poetry and writing again, and get some new writing going. So, some early morning walks around the edge of Port Phillip Bay near my house, have awakened up some new ideas about writing. Like the image of a white ship, lit up, coming up the bay in the pre-dawn grey.
And reading ‘The Art of Travel’ got me looking at Wordsworth again for the first time in a long time, and then to the idea of the sublime, of finding a strange kind of intense pleasure or dread in certain specific landscapes: the energy of nature (waves, tides, volcanoes), mountains, deserts and ruins. It’s interesting to think of that Victorian desire to categorise and catalog them all, the landscapes and the reactions we have to them.The Sublime: An Overview
Walked along Bird Rock beach this morning in the cold wind; early enough to be the first footprints for the day; choppy little waves and not a lot of beach but good to see the concrete remains of something (pier?) again unburied at the point. The foundations come and go irregularly. No seal sighted this morning, but I was thinking of trying to write a poem about that encounter a few weeks ago and the line ‘webbed hand’ kept coming to me. I thought of the Barry Lopez book I’ve been reading; “Arctic Dreams” and his encounters with nature.
Odd to find as well a balloon still inflated and jammed under the low bushes, then a green tennis ball floating in the shallows and finally an orange in the sand; these three round shapes in all the wind and sand and flat shapes of the world.
Walking up the steps I thought that the platforms (31 in all) would make a fine idea for a walk poem; but walking up to the road, or down to the beach? Each platform different and unique; like a stage in life or ascension (how many stages of the cross are there?) Then if it was platform would that be too railway-like an image? Could be a poem there though?