While poets and readers all over the globe celebrate poetry in a multiplicity of languages and voices, we’ve gone local. Hyper local. We’ve zoomed right in to the Monmouth and Brecon Canal, setting for a new filmpoem made by Chris Morris and based on a poem by Jonathan Edwards. Canal Song – newly uploaded to the web in both subtitled and non-subtitled versions – offers you three minutes of calm, canalside reflection on a busy day.
Jonathan writes ‘The house I grew up in, in Crosskeys, South Wales, backed onto the Monmouth and Brecon Canal and, when I received the commission to write a poem in its praise, I was keen to get all the memories it stores into my poem. Those days catching tadpoles before throwing them back, the epic and endless Sunday excursions along its banks, to the North Pole or the next village over, or the arc of our dog Olympic-diving through the air to belly-flop mid-stream, splashing an unsuspecting duck to the applause of a judgmental heron. A step or two away from the glorious but ultimately sooty village I played in was this other world. Weirder, wilder, filled with strange noises, booming silences, views of the village which caused you to see it or your life as something over there, it was playground, zoo, it was something beyond you, a home you were trespassing in. It’s been such an honour to celebrate and sing it.’
Watch the film here
The commission is part of The Poetry Society’s ‘Art on the Waterways’ work with the Canal and River Trust.