Children, place and possessions

Given the content of this excellent piece by my friend, Jules Pretty, I can be forgiven for recycling it!

The importance of our attachment to particular places can never be underemphasised. For the important reasons articulated here as well as, I would add, their stimulus to creativity, not only the unstructured play, mentioned here, but of poetic response.

We often write (or paint or compose music) in a dialogue with particular places that inspire, frame and creatively bound our thinking. This is obvious with nature poetry or landscape painting or programmatic music but even quite 'cerebral' poetry can be and is rooted in conversations with particular places.

I think, for example, of Eliot's exploration of time and eternity in his Four Quartets, each of which is coupled to a place for more than simply the reasons of naming. Something in the nature of those places, actually loved and known, helped frame and embody Eliot's thinking and provide anchoring reference from which the poems take flight and to which they periodically return to touch the elements.


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