These fine poems, written at different times and from a variety of perspectives, all look hard at the landscapes they enshrine. In doing so, they achieve (at least) two things at the same time. They honour the facts they preserve; and they create little screens on which are projected the feelings of the poets. They are, in other words, all forms of emotional observance. This sort of activity, and the combinations that it includes, has been central to poetry in all parts of the world for a very long time. But as these lines remind us, it has never been more important. Obliquely or urgently, quietly or loudly, all these poems give voice to the deep pleasure we find in landscape, and also to the reasons why we need to protect it. In this respect, we might well call them seriously beautiful.

Above the Forests - Ruth Bidgood
Frosted Fields - Rachael Boast
Briggflatts - Basil Bunting
Briggflatts - Basil Bunting

The Nightingale’s Nest

Read by Paul Farley
The Nightingale’s Nest - John Clare - Read by Paul Farley
Into the Trees - Ruth Gilbert
Considering the Snail - Thom Gunn
Mossbawn Sunlight - Seamus Heaney
A Shropshire Lad II: Loveliest of trees, the cherry now - A E Housman - Read by Alan Brownjohn
Hawk and Shadow - Kathleen Jamie
The Trees - Philip Larkin

Binsey Poplars

Read by Mimi Khalvati
Binsey Poplars - Gerard Manley Hopkins - Read by Mimi Khalvati
The Light Fell - Owen Sheers
Reading Leaves - Jean Sprackland

Tall Nettles

Read by Helen Thomas
Tall Nettles - Edward Thomas - Read by Helen Thomas
During Rain - Charles Tomlinson