Martyn Crucefix reads ‘you are not in search of’ and discusses the poem with Mark McGuinness
Mark: Martyn, where did this poem come from?
Martyn: It’s very interesting reflecting on where poems come from. Some poems have a very simple sort of origin. Rilke talks about a particular tree on a particular hillside, or an overheard conversation. Something of that sort. This poem has a more mixed background to it, I think, partly because it is a poem which occurs late. It’s the penultimate poem in an almost book-length sequence of poems in my new book, called Works and Days.
So looking back, I managed to find the notebook where the very first sort of scribblings for this poem occurred and maybe we can talk about that later. But it does go back a number of years to the winter, really, of 2015, 2016, and some of your listeners may remember that was a particularly stormy winter. I think it was Storm Desmond. I’m fascinated by the way in which we domesticate these terrible natural occurrences. Storm Desmond swept, particularly across the north of England, caused terrible property damage and flooding, and in particular in Cumbria in the Lake District, caused a great deal of damage.