Earlier this year Vivienne Westwood, in partnership with youyou mentoring, put out a call for young poets to help her enact a climate revolution as well as revive the lost love of poetry.
One of the five 18-21 year olds to be selected is a second year English student at Queen Mary: Poppy Turner. Inspired by William Blake, Carol Ann Duffy and her native Yorkshire environment, Poppy writes poetry as she ‘enjoys it as the perfectly encapsulated form for expressing an idea or an image.’
Poppy read her climate change poetry at Keats House on 19th October but if you couldn’t afford the slightly unstudenty prices for a ticket, below is poem she wrote shortly after moving to London, published exclusively for the first time.
Learning to love you (Ode to the Yorkshire moors)
Your large expanses form a contrast
To the stark white sky onto which you open yourself.
You are the chair of an exclusive club,
Seat of the heavens,
Home to wild horses, to Cathy and Heathcliff,
Dog walkers, writers, and early risers.
You are beautiful, but unforgiving.
It takes effort to reach your heart,
Tearing the clothes from my hot skin
Only to clutch them tightly again
As the cooling sweat raises goosebumps.
Instead of braving the gradients I was content to grow restless in the valley,
Awaiting my escape into the big busy world.
But despite myself, I miss you.
I miss the unforgiving wilderness
And the wind shocking the pink into my cheeks.
You’re wild and wily –
You got deep under my skin.
And like a nagging, itching feeling,
You’re calling me home.