Nineteen days, 256 miles, and one renowned poet walking the backbone of England.
The wandering poet has always been a feature of our cultural imagination. Odysseus journeys home, his famous flair for storytelling seducing friend and foe. The Romantic poets tramped all over the Lake District searching for inspiration. Now Simon Armitage, with equal parts enthusiasm and trepidation, as well as a wry humor all his own, has taken on Britain’s version of our Appalachian Trail: the Pennine Way.
Walking "the backbone of England" by day (accompanied by friends, family, strangers, dogs, the unpredictable English weather, and a backpack full of Mars Bars), each evening he gives a poetry reading in a different village in exchange for a bed. Armitage reflects on the inextricable link between freedom and fear as well as the poet’s place in our bustling world. In Armitage’s own words, "to embark on the walk is to surrender to its lore and submit to its logic, and to take up a challenge against the self."
©2013, 2012 Simon Armitage, Map copyright 2012 by Eleanor Crow (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, as I'm not a poetry guy at all, nor am I into extensive descriptions of nature. Well, neither of those were a problem here. There are some poems in the book, but only a few, so that I appreciated the poetry readings he gave along the way. Book is especially recommended for poetry fans, as well as those with a string interest in the English countryside. Audio narration a terrific fit - I kept forgetting Armitage wasn't reading this himself.
? does the idea of the whole appalachian trail intimidate you
? would the entire pacific crest trail be, just a bit too much
the poet, simon armitage (SA) has a welcoming alternative for you
SA admits that he now lives 3 miles from where he was born
so he has no claims or pretensions, as to being an intrepid explorer
he's pursuing a familiar stroll, in search of overlooked treasures
the united kingdom's 268 mile pennine way fits the bill nicely
it came into being about 40 years after the appalachian trail
mostly it runs north-south down the wet, rocky, windy spine of britian
SA covers about 10-15 miles a day and usually has only a day pack
each night he raises $ and meets new friends by having poetry readings
it lends a quirky, cozy balance to the obstacles and misadventures of the trail
along the way, SA meditates about the therapeutic aspects of walking
he believes it's a remedy for the aches and pains of aging and urban life
if you're an anglophile adult in search of a tidy gem, this book is a good bet
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