LINDA FRANCE poet: "The mystical power possessed by nature is one of many layers Linda peels back through poetry…"

Linda France Nat_Poetry_Comp_47<a
Interview with poet Linda France Story: Jade Cuttle

Image credit: summonedbyfells

"We are all flawed, short-sighted and confined within our own conditioning," declares Linda France, "but we can push our boundaries by empathizing with others, reading poetry.”

The perspective that poetry is a portal to an extended range of understanding, a stepping stone in our search for clarification, endows poetry with a pleasing sense of power and purpose. However, if such flaws and short-sightedness extend to everyone, even to poets, then it is difficult to imagine how this purpose is possible.

Linda France has published seven poetry collections including The Gentleness of the Very Tall and The Toast of the Kit-Cat Club and edited the ground-breaking feminist anthology Sixty Women Poets. She won first place in this year’s National Poetry Competition for her poem entitled 'Bernard and Cerinthe', painting a man’s erotic encounter in a greenhouse with a Cerinthe flower. Whilst the seed of inspiration was slightly less sensual, the poet was left almost as “astonished” as Bernard following her surprise at stumbling across something she had never seen before; the “fleshy, flirtatiousness” of a Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ as it “conceals and reveals at the same time”.

“The most reliable hook that draws me in is curiosity,” she explains, “piqued by something that resists my sense of knowledge.” In what is described as a mix between intrigue and nosiness, her curiosity is channelled into a “commitment to peeling back layers.” If layers of understanding are first peeled back on a personal level, then poetry is arguably more important for the poet than for the reader, and thus, inspiring people to push their own boundaries becomes a by-product of this process.

The mystical power possessed by nature is one of many layers Linda peels back through poetry, though, despite having lived in Northumberland for thirty-three years, she confesses she has still not unearthed its truths. There is “an attraction to darkness or otherness” she insists, taking root in childhood warnings such as “don't go down the lane” and “don't go into the woods”. This attraction is rooted in exclusion, pinned down to being “painfully separate” and applies to her personal approach to poetry as she admits “there has always been something there, a curiosity, an absence, and I wanted to fill the gaps.”

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Author: Roger - Dr Roger Prentice

Now I write, teach and coach mainly about 21stC 'interfaith as inter-spirituality' - and how we can grow closer to our True Self. . As anyone who knows anything about IPF will realize my energy is curtailed - so I am concentrating primarily on 'inter-spirituality'. . In the past I would have said that: . 1) I run courses and give talks at conferences and in universities and colleges in the UK, China, USA, Canada, Scandinavia etc. . 2) I provide materials, outlines and lessons for Schools. . 3) My range of interests include personal development, learning and teaching, photography and film, the arts generally, spirituality and educational practice and theory. . 4) At the same time I continue developing the human-centred studies SunWALK PDS (People Development System) - a whole-person, high-achievement model for individuals, and for use in, NGOs, schools and other organizations. . 5) The key question that continues to animate me and my work remains, "What is it to be fully and positively human?" . Contact me via onesummit AT gmail DOT com (replace At with@ etc.). . All good wishes Roger (Dr Roger Prentice) . For those interested; My first degree is in English and Education. My masters is in Adult and Community Education. My doctorate presented a new holistic meta-model of education called SunWALK.

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