A load of rubbish? These poems are very far from being that! Published in time for Global Recycling Day on 18th March, this selection finds that rubbish is far more than merely stuff we don’t want any more.
There’s a poem in which a swing-bin – complete with peelings and old tea-bags – becomes a vivid still life and a moving elegy when a family home is being cleared after a death. Elsewhere, mud-larking explores how what’s been discarded can still give us pause for thought:
“The stones, nails, shoes, this one old mitten;
they all could have some meaning if I listen.”
from ‘Learning to Listen on the Thames Beach’ by Anna Robinson
‘Rubbish’ might once have been a throwaway word, but these days it reminds us how we have cluttered the planet with our leavings – something that is powerfully explored in Carolyn Forché’s poem of protest.
Poems by Jo Bell, Laurence Binyon, David Constantine, Carolyn Forché, Lorna Goodison, John Greening, Anna Robinson, David Wagoner, John Wedgwood Clarke and Susan Wicks.