Essay – Nature and Antiquity

The Druids Stones

I recently published an essay in the ecopoetics journal Plumwood Mountain, on the work of poet and philosopher Martin Harrison.

For I have learned

To look on Nature, not as in the hour

Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes

The still, sad music of humanity…

In a letter responding to the death of poet and natural historian Eric Rolls, Martin Harrison notes in Rolls’ work an awareness of the “two great presences, Nature and Antiquity”. The terms of these two presences, which Harrison acquires from Wordsworth, he goes on to nuance as “the claims of nature and the claims of ancient understanding”. Implicit in Harrison’s statement is that he himself shares such an awareness, or a version of it, and with a contribution that is now underlined by the finality of his death in September 2014, the ways in which these two presences are pillars in Harrison’s own writing become only more apparent.

So it begins. You can read the full essay here.


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