A taste of Anna
Posted by alison at wakefieldlibraries
He was a Whittle man
now he collects logs and lights
the tree house fire each morning
and cleans up rubbish and does odd
jobs and learns a bit
about gardening as part of a government scheme.
Had my Grandfather lived
he would have taken his breaks
With this man, sitting
shoulder to shoulder in the pit
of the bait shed
which in the olden days was full of apples.
Whittle, a former British coal mine in Northumberland, closed in 1997.
Anna says – ‘Bait Shed’ is in my book Birdhouse and was written as part of a residency I did at Alnwick Garden in Northumberland. A lot of the gardeners there are ex-miners: I was chatting to one in the Bait Shed (bait is local dialect for lunch) and felt like I was communing with my grandfather who died prematurely (like so many miners) before all the pits were shut down.
Anna Woodford’s poetry collection Birdhouse (Salt, 2010) won the Crashaw Prize and was included in a Guardian round-up of the best poetry books of the year.
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