I’ve fallen in love with Norfolk
over more than twenty five years,
a place of awkward spellings,
names alien to my London ears,
where Neatishead and Happisburgh,
Mundesley and Wymondham
are sounds that rasp and purr
when pronounced correctly
in the strains of Norfolk burr.
Kim M. Russell, 2018
Sherry tells us that, In Canada, they boast a legendary free-verse poet who was always larger than life: Al Purdy, (1918 – 2000). I must admit, I had never heard of him but I’m glad Sherry has introduced me to the ‘tough son-of-a-bitch’ (according to Charles Bukowski).
Sherry says that one of his best-known poems is ‘Say the Names’, which he wrote shortly before his death, an elegy to some of the beloved place-names of his life, in this case locations in British Columbia.
Our challenge is to write a poem in the spirit of ‘Say the Names’ about the places that live in our hearts: their mountains, rivers, lakes or ocean shores, the small towns, the deserts, the city streets. Sherry would like us to sing a song of those places and their names.