There are many hyped poets in Britain at present. Over-hyped poets. Then there are poets like Lynne Wycherley. Lynne W. has been writing good poems for quite a few years now, getting published in many excellent magazines and also, in book form, by the excellent (and not-hyped) Shoestring Press.
When I describe her as an eco-poet, I run the risk of making Wycherley sound didactic, perhaps, didactic and hectoring. These are two things she is not. She has a marvellous eye for the natural world-a vixen,an insect,various weathers, wind-blown Orkney-and also a marvellous ear. Birds abound, as do plants. She is very good at the naming of species, species she knows as friends.Creatures are honoured to the same extent as humans, and often in the same poems. In "The Westray Angel" a baby-the only survivor of an C18th shipwreck-is likened to a merlin's egg ; in another poem, an anchoress is "leveret-still."
Yet this is no prettified nostalgic world. There are computers in these poems, and nuclear-reactors. There are ominous shadows too, of global warming, ever-increasing commercialism. Wycherley finds much to celebrate, much to mourn and, most of all, much to honour. There is beauty in these poems,and also fragility, the one bound up with the other.
These poems are important. Many of them read like meditations-soft,understated, like a bird's feather, almost capable of blowing away in a gust of wind. But they are strong, too.Poppy in a Storm-tossed Field
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