Sunday, February 27, 2011

Debatable Zones

As an exercise, the reader might like to substitute 'science fiction' and 'sf writers' for 'poetry' and 'poets' in the following:
The edgelands are a complex landscape, a debatable zone, constantly reinventing themselves as economic and social tides come in and out. Of course, the idea of edgelands does not just refer to parts of the physical landscape. It's a rich term for poetry, too, and can maybe break down other dualities. Poets have always been attracted to the overlooked, the telling details, the captured moment. And the moment is important here, too. If parts of remote rural Britain feel timeless (though this feeling is, of course, illusory) then the edgelands feel anything but. Revisit an edgelands site you haven't seen for six months, and likely as not there will be a Victorian factory knocked down, a business park newly built, a section of waste ground cleared and landscaped, a re-war warehouse abandoned and open to the elements [or a Zeppelin factory swarming with zombies - PM]. Such are the constantly shifting sands of edgelands that any writing about these landscapes is a snapshot.  There is no definitive description of the edgelands of Swindon, or Wolverhampton, only an attempt to celebrate and evoke them at one particular time.

Edgelands: Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts


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