Welcome to the fourth instalment of ‘In The Sticks’ – Offa’s Press’s Arts Council England-funded poetry project focusing on rural life.
Our previous workshops on Cannock Chase, the Wyre Forest and the Countryside in Winter looked at the relationship people have with the countryside. This time we’re celebrating spring, and how we look forward to the changes in the landscape as winter eases and the weather starts to warm up.
From the very first sighting of a snowdrop, early in the year, we know that the world is moving towards spring.
Spring, preparing for fruitful months ahead
From the very first sighting of a snowdrop, early in the year, we know that the world is moving towards spring, promising blossom, birdsong, and lambs skipping about in fields. But for many in rural communities, spring means hard work preparing for the fruitful months ahead, and we’ll begin to see changes in the agricultural landscape as well as in unmanaged spaces.
Historically, as the frugal winter months came to an end, rural communities celebrated the lengthening of the days, meaning that farming could start again in earnest, and celebrations continued through to summer to ensure a good harvest later in the year. Many of these traditions survive to this day – lots of us will have been to a May Day parade or decorated eggs for Easter.
Take a look through our information pages, photos, and the poems and prompts we’ve selected on the theme of ‘Celebrating Spring’. If you can, head out for a walk in the countryside and observe the signs of spring which are starting to come through. We’d love to see what poems you come up with!