Day 65 of 366: Cornish Cliffs

Cornwall has been the favourite part of England for me since I first visited it more than 20 years ago. Since then Martin and I went there together several times, but we had a long break since our last visit. So we decided to give ourselves a long weekend in Boscastle as a Christmas present. We had a wonderful time walking along the South West Coast Path with many breathtaking views like this one. We couldn’t choose a better present than this.

Cornish rugged coastline and dramatic atmosphere – even on a nice day – has been an inspiration for many artists and poets.

One of my favourite poets Sir John Betjeman spent many summers in the north part of Cornwall, and captured its melancholy and majesty in many of his poems. Here is just a small part of his poem “Cornish Cliffs”. He was a master of written word. I have always admired people who can use words to express what they feel and see so eloquently:

Those moments, tasted once and never done,
Of long surf breaking in the mid-day sun.
A far-off blow-hole booming like a gun-

The seagulls plane and circle out of sight
Below this thirsty, thrift-encrusted height,
The veined sea-campion buds burst into white…

Thomas Hardy worked as an architect on restoring the church of St Juliot near Boscastle. This was when he met Emma Gifford, his first wife. He wrote several poems in her memory:

O the opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea,
And the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free—
The woman whom I loved so, and who loyally loved me…

John Harris was a Cornish poet. Since the age of twelve he worked in a mine, and despite the hard labour he managed to write beautiful poetry dedicated to his beloved home:

Where not a sound is heard
But the white waves, O bird,
And slippery rocks fling back the vanquish’d sea,
Thou soarest in thy pride,
Not heeding storms or tide;
In Freedom’s temple nothing is more free…

I could carry on because there are so many more poets who felt and feel the same way as me about this corner of the English land. But perhaps I will leave it for another time.

Cornish Cliffs