'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' It may have been October but it was bright and warm as we headed to the Lower Leas Coastal Path in Folkestone.
Our storytelling wordsmith Karen Hart introduced National Poetry Day, the UK-wide annual celebration of poetry, and we shared our experiences of poems. We soon realised that the subject stirred memories and emotions - and tears.
You can read or listen to some of the poems we heard through the links at the bottom of this page.
Some Wheelers discovered they knew more poetry - and poetic devices such as similies amd metaphors - than they thought.
This year's #nationalpoetryday theme is 'The Environment'. We decided to consider the climate, as the undercliff in the park creates its own unique microclimate.
The park has a Mediterranean Planting scheme, which thrives in the warmer climate of the south east. The warm salty sea air also brings fewer hard frosts. The beach next to the park features pebbles and groynes to deter coastal erosion and rising sea levels.
We noticed the beginnings of autumn, with a change of colour in the leaves, and sweet chestnuts falling for the squirrels to gather for their larders and enjoy.
Exploring the park in more depth, we imagined descriptive terms for our immediate environment. We shared classics, newly-commissioned work, and personal favourites about the sea, nature, climate change, trees - and the Jabberwock, with eyes of flame.
Ella Risbridger's latest poetry anthology - And Everything Will Be Glad to See You, Poems by Women and Girls - gave us riches to read, listen to, and discuss. We enjoyed her introduction about her Granny M's love of poetry - and motor scooter Matilda!
Ivy blossom buzzing with ivy bees scented the air as we ascended the Zig Zag path to shelter in one of the caves from the sea breeze. We needed shelter for this walk's storytelling activity - making our own found poetry.
Each Wheeler had a selection of snippets of sentences and words; then, as a group, we created two environment and nature themed poems. We'll share those in another post soon.
We gave each Wheeler one of the Wild Cards: postcards featuring sumptuous nature artwork and words from The Lost Words and The Lost Spells by Robert Macarlane and Jackie Morris. The inspiring poem I May, I Might, I Must by Marianne Moore was hand written on the back of each postcard - it could be our signature poem.
After a wonderful walk, we shared coffee and snacks at nearby Mermaids Cafe, where North Downs Way Ambassador Michael Harden shared his witty poem about the training for being a walks leader.
I Must Go Down to the Sea Again, Spike Milligan
I Started Early, Took my Dog, Emily Dickinson
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