Title: The Footing
By: Angelina Ayers, James Caruth, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Andrew Hirst, Chris Jones, Fay Musselwhite
Publisher: Longbarrow Press
“The poems in The Footing are the result of a long-term engagement with the ideas and practices of walking.” writes Brian Lewis in the introduction to Longbarrow Press’s first poetry anthology. And it is true- the poet’s knowledge as walkers, and their sense for the history of those who have walked the landscape before them, shows through despite the use of a variety of poetic techniques. Tales of the weather also shine through, with sun and rain both highlighting the most descriptive poems of the anthology.
A sense of mystery and isolation is found throughout the romantic landscapes. Although there is an occasional invasion of the modern world, such as when “The front page of a discarded newspaper/ flaps open on a picture of young faces”. However apart from this vague cohesive sense, the styles and genres of poetry used by each indvidual poet are incredibly different (considering the common subject matter). Some of the poets use traditional rhythms and rhyme schemes; whilst others write in crisp lines of free verse.
Reading the anthology means absorbing each of the poet’s unique productions. This allows the reader a precious sight into the way seven other humans view and interpret nature. As a reader I couldn’t help making rapid connections between the poems and their meanings. They could be analysed as evidence of the connection between nature and people, language, religion, art, and expression. Reading ‘The Footing’ also triggers the reader to observe their own surroundings more intensely.