Wandering grasses

I heard John Brannigan’s paper on 1930s cultural associations of islands and ‘Islomania’ in poetry a few days ago at the Regional Literary Cultures Conference in Nottingham, coincidentally while writing up a piece myself on peninsulas.

As remote outlying regions, and areas of land which may even have their own private ecology, are islands and peninsulas seen as ‘outposts on the borderlands of the real’, as Elizabeth Bletsoe puts it in her poetry volume Landscape from a Dream (2008)? Or can they be portrayed, too, as the most globally connected of places, given that the sea is understood by the modern, in Brannigan’s terms, as ‘a means of passage, communication and connection’? This is one of the questions lying behind Peter Riley’s texts about the capitalist grid in Wales leading to the austere coastline of Llŷn, where it faces the ‘connecting and severing sea’. (Connecting and severing!)

For the time being, reading proper science books about fish, tides, ‘wandering grasses’ (patches of wandering vegetation), and the mobile quality of place at sea – cf. visual pun on ‘migrating plaice’, below.

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~ by amycutler on April 20, 2011.

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