Wednesday 5 July 2017

Review: Beyond the Fell Wall

Beyond the Fell Wall Beyond the Fell Wall by Richard Skelton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The musician, Richard Skelton has lived high in the hills of Cumbria for a number of years. A lot of his time is spent composing music, but when he isn’t, he heads out on foot to explore the fields, walk the footpaths and immerse himself in the landscape of the high fell. From those explorations comes this book. It takes in the vastness of geological time, the detail he studies the living plants that a wall gives life to, the apparitions of the past glimpsed in the present and the reassurance that a dry stone wall brings as an edge to a wilder place..

The wall sings, not just the songs of the living, but the unheard melodies of the dead

Skelton is deeply connected with the land around him, and this is what makes this quite a special book. He draws on poetry, prose and quotes to paint a vivid picture of the place that he loves. He is not afraid to use the space of the page to create artwork from words using the names of fields or the delights that you can find in the language of the land. This is the first of his that I have read, though I have a copy of Landings by him after being recommended it by another reader, which is going to be bumped up the to read list.

Enter into the landscape. Repeatedly. And in so doing it enters into you

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