Wednesday, 24 September 2008


We all have places which are ‘dear’ to us, which are associated with certain memories or people:

Five years have passed; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur. Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage ground, these orchard tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
‘Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedgerows, hardly hedgerows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit’s cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.

These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me,
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,
And passing even into my purer mind
With tranquil restoration.
(William Wordsworth, “Tintern Abbey,” 1798).

Following Wordsworth, here is the point of this blog: it's a place for you to remember places, to post memories, stories, descriptions, poems, folk-tales, family tales, photos, pictures, maps, films, music and so on about places which you know and love ... or hate ... or love and hate at the same time. Your posts can be as short, as long, as detailed, as cryptic, as you like. You can post well-formed poems and stories, or first thoughts and ideas which you would like help with. You can read and comment on each other's work, providing valuable feedback.

Think about tiny details of places which other people haven't noticed. Think about stories and folk-tales other people might not have heard. Think about places which seem 'boring' on the surface, but which you can re-enchant with your writing. Think about how places are memories, and memories are places. Think about strange perspectives on places, odd views. Think about how different histories mingle in the same place. Think about your own feelings towards a place. Think about your own memories. Think about cultural memories. Think about how places are connected across vast distances through memories and histories.

Talking of vast distances, the blog is shared between students in the U.K. and the U.S., so there should be lots of different and contrasting posts, stories and memories up here by the end of the year. There will be differences and similarities, points of contact and points of divergence, shared memories and resonant memories. Think about how your places connect and diverge.

Please respect each other's work both in your feedback and in your editing of the blog. Please remember that everything you post up here is open to the public.
Thanks, Jonathan Taylor
Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing,
De Montfort University,
Leicester, LE1 9BH,

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