Driving south from Hereford one day in March
memorable for trickling piles of snow, with sideshows,
drift upon drift of snowdrops lapping the hedgerows,
we sighted the signpost, and on impulse, turned up
the winding, vertical road to Orcop.
Anne Stevenson, ‘Orcop’
Since William of Wycombe carolled “sing cuckoo” eight hundred years ago, poets and painters have told their love of Herefordshire and its neighbouring Marches in the beauty of words and of paintings. This new anthology (selected by Jonathan Lumby) introduces thirty poets. William Wordsworth is here, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Siegfried Sassoon and Frances Horovitz, Thomas Traherne and Henry Vaughan. Thirty artists include Hereford’s own Brian Hatton, Presteigne’s Joseph Murray Ince, Joshua Cristall, who settled in Goodrich, and David Cox, David Jones, Samuel Palmer and Thomas Gainsborough.
This is the boundary: different burrs
Stick, stones make darker scars
On the road down: nightingales
Struggle with thorn-trees for the gate of Wales.
Roland Mathias, ‘Craswall’
Voices and visions, poems and paintings, mingle in praise of a much-loved land. Some poems are centuries old, some paintings are hardly dry. Side by side they evoke light and shade, soil and air, mystical reflection and advice to a cider-maker or to a shepherd. We blink at the brightness of angels or of the shining Wye; we hear too of older, darker forces. The history of the Shires merges with locality and both with beauty. A map shows places mentioned, for Jonathan Lumby encourages us to discover for ourselves the ‘loveliness of the Borderland’.
Paperback | 160 pages | 171 x 242 mm | 2017
Over 80 colour paintings