Discovering Blake Morrison’s Poetry: A Melodic Journey Through Words

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Born on this day October 8, 1950, Blake Morrison’s poetry is a lyrical exploration of life’s various dimensions, a melodic journey through words that leaves readers with an ineffable sense of wonder. His eloquent expressions are encapsulated in resonant verses that echo with profound insights, touching upon universal themes and narratives. One of his most enigmatic collections, Dark Glasses, is a poignant reflection on love, loss, and the myriad complexities of human relationships.

Dark Glasses, one of Morrison’s early works, is a testament to his masterful wordcraft. The collection is marked by its intricate play on language and imagery, weaving a tapestry of emotions that capture the reader’s imagination. The poems are intensely personal yet universally relatable, as they explore the depths of human emotions – from the ecstasy of love to the desolation of loss. The titular poem, Dark Glasses, is an intimate portrayal of the poet’s inner world, offering glimpses into his vulnerabilities and fears veiled behind the metaphorical ‘dark glasses’.

Another remarkable work of Morrison that deserves mention is Pendle Witches. This collection is inspired by the historical events of the 17th-century witch trials in Pendle, England. Morrison breathes life into the haunting tales of the Pendle witches through his evocative verses. His poetry transcends the barriers of time and space, transporting readers to the eerie landscapes of Pendle, echoing with the whispers of those who were infamously persecuted. This journey through words is not just a retelling of history; it is an exploration of power dynamics, prejudice, and humanity’s capacity for evil.

Morrison’s poetry paints vivid pictures with words, creating symphonies that resonate with every chord of human emotion. His collections Dark Glasses and Pendle Witches are stellar examples of his ability to craft narratives that are as compelling as they are thought-provoking. As one delves deeper into his poetic world, one discovers the true essence of Morrison’s craft – a harmonious blend of melody, meaning, and emotion that leaves an imprint on the reader’s consciousness.


The tides go in and out
But the cliffs are stuck in reverse:
Back across the fields they creep,
to the graves of Covehithe church.

From church to beach
Was once a hike.
Today it’s just a stroll.
Soon it’ll be a stone’s throw.

And that path we took
Along the cliffs has itself been taken,
By winter storms.
The wheat’s living on the edge.

What’s to be done?
I blame the dead
in their grassy mounds,

the sailors and fishermen

longing to be back at sea
who since they can’t get up
and stride down to the beach
entice the sea to come to them.

-Blake Morrison, Shingle Street

Curated by Jennifer

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