Andrew Motion on the future of the countryside:
He is more confident about the English countryside than most. ‘I think it is in better nick than many people imagine. I don’t have an instant revulsion to wind farms as some people have against nuclear power stations, but perhaps there should be a mix of resources available.
‘One immediate campaign springs to mind — to call for better use of brownfield sites in country towns where many of these are available. Let’s make as much use as we can of existing buildings instead of just building more.’
Andrew Motion on writing poetry:
‘Here, we walk a tightrope between one side of the brain and the other — the side that knows what it’s doing and the bubbly side that doesn’t know quite what’s going on, which is pure and simple imagination. Craft can bring these two sides together but you have to mix them carefully, otherwise the work can be too efficient and cold, or on the other hand too bubbly and vague.’
Andrew Motion on Wordsworth and the dangers of nature:
Motion realises the countryside is not a dream and that it can indeed be dangerous territory. ‘From being chased by a herd of cows to being bitten by a rabid fox or falling from a cliffside path to the sea below, there is that level of danger and this is something that Wordsworth is absolutely brilliant at — the shudder of feeling very small in the face of something very big. You look at the night sky and think, “I am nothing; I am here for an infinitely small time.” But in a funny sort of way, all this adds to our sense of what beauty is.’
The full article will be made live on Wednesday morning. In the meantime, why not read previous Spear’s articles of the week?