A mountain is something very particular – a place that entices and daunts us, that commands our gaze while also making it very clear that we’re not required.
These glorious poems capture the majesty and wonder of mountain landscapes, whether they’re encountered up-close by walkers and climbers or are being marvelled at from afar by more contemplative souls.
In one poem, even a failed ascent offers a moment of wonder:
“The late afternoon sun comes rushing and skimming
Toward you, through your eyes,
And through your trembling, stiffening fingers
In a dazzle of light, a burnt-gold avalanche.”
from ‘On a Mountainside’ by David Wagoner
Whichever way we look at mountains, they make us feel small and these poems revel in that marvellous and uplifting thought.
Poems by Li Bai, Gladys Cardiff, Emily Dickinson, Clifton Gachagua, Norman MacCaig, Helen Mort, Yvonne Reddick, Nan Shepherd, David Wagoner and David Wilson.
Cover illustration by Laura Boswell.