The poem William and I chose for the St Nick’s Words from the Wild class this week is Something Told the Wild Geese by Rachel Field. (If you click on the poem title it will take you to the poem).
This poem was brought to our attention by Brenda who has been enjoying the class and thought we would like it. Brenda found it in a copy of Poems in the Waiting Room, an organisation that publishes poetry pamphlets for GP surgeries, if you haven’t come across them I highly recommend taking a look.
Our poem this week follows the theme of the instinct of wild geese to migrate. The words are evocative, drawing on the fading autumn days as the geese take to the skies for warmer climates. Using this as a theme I thought we could also use creative writing to reflect on the season. Scroll down for writing tasks.
Task 1: The first frosts. *5 mins. Meg sent me the beautiful pictures below of frost settling in her garden. Write for five minutes on the theme of ‘Waking up to the first frost’.
Task 2: Frozen waters. (10 mins) In the poem we hear about Geese migrating, in contrast we are going to consider the birds that remain. Think about a river, pond or lake that you are familiar with. Write about the experience of a bird that uses the water daily. How do things change in the winter? What does the landscape look like from a birds eye view? How does it feel to land, or take off on ice!? Is it confusing to suddenly be able to walk on water when it is frozen?
Task 3: Winter Companions: (5 mins). I have been enjoying feeding wild birds over winter. Here is a Lino cut print I made of a crow pecking at the ground picking up food. I like making sketches of wildlife and particularly find this a nice activity to keep me going through winter.
Write for five minutes about companionship between wildlife and humans during the winter months. Perhaps you will choose the story of birds who visit a bird feeder daily? Or perhaps you would like to write about an artist who studies wildlife to paint and draw like I do? Or a horse in a freshly made stable? Be as inventive as you like, feel free to work beyond the five minutes if a story begins to form.
Task 4: Winter berries. (5 mins) Despite the snow and ice I still see beautiful berries on my walks. They remind me of jewels amongst the hedgerows. In five lines write a tiny poem on the theme of ‘Winter Jewels’.
Happy Writing! Let me know how you get on with the tasks, or if there are any themes you would like me to help you explore in future sessions.