Saturday, 9 August 2014

Creeping Concrete.

                                Castle similar to that of Binamy

In the north of Cornwall, not far from the sea stood Binamy Castle, a mid fourteenth century moated castle the remains of which can be seen on what is known as Binamy Farm. Binamy Castle has had a place in my heart many many years, sadly the foundations of this once fine medieval building and the site on which is stood will soon be surrounded by a large housing estate.
                      Aerial photograph of Binamy Farm and the housing development surrounding it.

Talk of the destruction of our countryside and its heritage has been a big issue for years, and still is. Philip Larkin wrote of it in his 1972 poem Going, going, which I read last evening.

Larkins penultimate verse reads:

And that will be England gone,
The shadows, the meadows, the lanes,
The guildhalls, the carved choirs.
There'll be books; it will linger on
In galleries; but all that remains
For us will be concrete and tyres.

Larkin's poem has a hard hitting environmental message that rings to true for me, not only in its historical sense but in also in real time, I have watched houses springing up around me where there was once an apple orchard, large oak trees and a stream.

Larkin's was commissioned by the Department of the Environment to write a poem to feature in their report ‘How Do You Want To Live?’ His work was used but edited, and lines taken out as controversial or offensive but he later published it if full. His poem smacks of fatalism, it can be said that it is as much about growing old as it is about the environmental issues, but was Larkin right, of course he was, but has any action been taken to prevent or at least control this destructive disease, this creeping concrete?   Has the words of  this fine Poet Laureate made a difference.

I don't think so!

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