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National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day, a day set up by the Forward Arts Foundation to encourage all to enjoy, discover and share poetry. We’re celebrating the day by sharing poems from our books.

A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year is a calming collection of nature poems to help you relax and unwind at the end of every day. To mark National Poetry Day, editor Jane McMorland Hunter has selected a couple of her favourite poems from the book.

There is a Solemn Wind To-Night

by Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923)

There is a solemn wind to-night⁠
That sings of solemn rain;⁠
The trees that have been quiet so long⁠
Flutter and start again.⁠

The slender trees, the heavy trees,⁠
The fruit trees laden and proud,⁠
Lift up their branches to the wind⁠
That cries to them so loud.⁠

The little bushes and the plants⁠
Bow to the solemn sound,⁠
And every tiniest blade of grass⁠
Shakes on the quiet ground.⁠

This autumnal poem by Katherine Mansfield is the poem that Jane selected for 1st October.


by William Blake (1757–1827)

The sun descending in the west,
The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest.
And I must seek for mine.
The moon, like a flower
In heaven’s high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.

Farewell, green fields and happy groves,
Where flocks have took delight:
Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves
The feet of angels bright;
Unseen they pour blessing,
And joy without ceasing,
On each bud and blossom,
And each sleeping bosom.

Night by William Blake features in Songs of Innocence, Verses 1 and 2, originally published in 1789.


Now over to something more contemporary. Our Isles by Angus D. Birditt and Lilly Hedley was published earlier this year and is a celebration of rural lifestyle.

The Shepherd⁠

Poem by Angus D. Birditt, illustration by Lilly Hedley

From head to source of upland flow⁠
Run the hills with morning dew;⁠
Over tops of heather and scented larch⁠
To the heights of life we seldom march.⁠

Come scale the wild and weathered rock⁠
Where life is quiet and eagles soar,⁠
For amongst these lands of valleys deep⁠
You’ll find the kind that herds in sheep.⁠

Amid the chorus of dawning calls⁠
These folk arise with canine friends,⁠
Ascending the hill in twos or threes⁠
To scan the land, all things to see.⁠

With knowing calls his dogs go free⁠
To rush and reach the peaks beyond;⁠
How quick they’re off to round up the flock,⁠
Past swathes of gorse and lady’s smock.⁠

Their bodies dart the land in black,⁠
Where soon they’ll find all strays of ewe;⁠
Swift to move on the knock of crook⁠
They swing to back and crouch to look.⁠

Our Isles is a project that explores artistry and rural life in the British Isles through poetry, printmaking and photography. The Our Isles Exhibition is currently showing at the Oriel Davies Gallery. Book your FREE ticket here.


Explore A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year, Our Isles and our range of poetry books.