Hello and Good Morning, it's dull, damp, and miserable here at the moment, but there are signs of it brightening up. The mist has lifted, and you never know, the sun might make an appearance a bit later. So let's crack on with this book review before lunch.
I picked this out as something I would be interested in having walked bits of the Pennine Way myself, little bits I might add, not great big chunks of it. Well ok, dipped in and out of it during my trips to Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Simon is a poet, not a walker, so it interested me to read his perspective on the countryside he was passing through.
I call him a poet, but he is in fact quite a lot of other things. He writes for radio and television, writes novels, translates, teaches, and has been awarded a string of honours and awards for his work. You can read about him on his web site.
The book. I am not a fan of poetry, I cannot understand half of it, to me it is like a jumble of words thrown into a pot and fished out at random. When I read it I can't make sense of it. I vaguely remember the poetry I leant at school, the word at the end of every line rhymed with the line before it, or the one before that. It flowed in a natural way, it sort of rolled off the tongue like flowing honey. Poetry which doesn't rhyme trips and falls over itself as it is spoken, tumbling out in no particular order. That's how I see it.
If you like walking you will like this book. If you like reading about other people's travels, you will like this book. If you like poetry you will love this book, because the whole book is like one huge poem. I struggled with the poetry part of it but ploughed on because I was enjoying the references to places where I have been myself. At times the author takes a literary diversion and includes references of previous trips to other places. A bit like his thoughts running away with him. Some passages seemed to be like extra padding, not absolutely necessary.
Even though it was easy reading there was a lot of big words which I wasn't too sure about. Simon is a very clever man, far better educated than I ever will be. He crafts his words as would a sculptor or a master craftsman would. He walked this path from North to South, most people do it the other way round. He gave poetry readings at pre arranged venues along the route, asking for donations rather than charging an entrance fee. He did very well out of it, and after taking out his expenses still had quite a bit of profit left over. The figures are detailed in the book.
In fact there is loads of stuff about him on the www, a very clever man.