A few weeks back, as I was reading A Poet’s Guide to Britain, I discovered a poem by Norman Nicholson (1914-1987) called “Scafell Pike”. It is a landscape poem, but an unusual one, as it explores an industrial landscape imposed upon a natural landscape, but the industrial landscape is becoming a ruin and being reclaimed by nature.
In a sense, the poem is also a story poem, the story of the great industrialization of Britain in the 19th century and the deindustrialization of Britain in the 20th. Nicholson’s landscape was very specific – the region of Cumbria on the western side of England’s Lake District and butting up against the Irish Sea.
I looked for more poems by Nicholson, and found them. I looked for biographical information online, and found it. Then I went looking to see if I could find any of his poetry collections online, and I could. But few had been republished; generally, what’s available are used editions at various book shops in the UK. (some priced reasonably and some not).
One resource I did find was a biography written in 2013, Norman Nicholson: The Whispering Poet by Kathleen Jones. It was written at the request of the Norman Nicholson Society, and it’s available in Kindle format. It’s highly readable and covers Nicholson’s life and his works in detail.
To continue reading (and to read one of his beautiful poems), please see my post today at TweetspeakPoetry.