Poetry & Art – Carolina Read

My good friend Carolina Read has done something very special  for me – she’s agreed to share one of her poems “October” here – both the text and an audio recording. AND  she also agreed to grant another wish I had – to provide her own artwork (2 pieces) to accompany the poem. AND she also kindly agreed to answer three questions I asked her about poetry and art. So please explore and enjoy all these offerings.  Note: Be sure to click on the images to enlarge. EEN

Watercolour by Carolina Read

LISTEN to an audio recording HERE of Carolina read her poem  “October”. soundcloud-logo


Listening round the beeches bound
in blaze of orange power
thick the wealth of everything
from breeze to briefest shower.

Needles pile in shapes of gold
folding into letters
messages in tapestry –
autumn’s finest sweaters.

Squirrels leap in flurried joy
the nuts are rich for taking
scurrying their treasures down
for winter’s deep embracing.

Now beckoning, the roll of banks
that steeped in mossy greens
ask a certain rest unto such
wild and unseen dreams;

For intimate in realms it is,
these woods where nature’s season
whispers forth in timely glow
magnificent in reason.

Carolina Read

carolina 2 B
Sketch by Carolina Read

Q & A

EEN –  Why do you write poems Carolina? What’s the background to this poem?

CR – Reading poems as a child, I remember the excitement I experienced understanding what the poems were trying to convey, in giving meaning to things in ways that had great significance to me.  I found myself writing as a way of exploring how I perceived the world, often delighting in the placement of words and the surprise that sentences brought to my imagination.  To date, I find the most material when out in nature, when rhyme and meter seem to arise with words without my thinking too hard about it.

This particular poem arose whilst walking in a favourite wood in Devon, as Autumn was truly taking hold.   I enjoy feeling the delight that arises when lines come together into a poem – and this usually comes over in the finished version!

EEN – What are a few of your favourite poems? A couple by contemporary poets? A couple of “older” ones? 

CR – Paul Matthews writes poems that balance richness and simplicity with a depth that leaves me feeling enriched for hours.   http://www.paulmatthewspoetry.co.uk  A favourite poem of mine from his collection ‘The Ground that Love seeks’ is called ‘Where beauty lies’ which describes a simple moment of the poet witnessing nature. His poetry has provided me with a great deal of insight into the discovery of words as precious things, and of poetry as a right of pleasure!

Ted Hughes’s poems of animals continue to inspire me to observe and contemplate the natural world in all its awe and power.  The poem ‘Hawk roosting’ was one of the first poem I wanted to learn by heart, its language being so asserting.    http://allpoetry.com/Hawk-Roosting    Several other favourite poems are John Betjeman’s ‘Diary of a Church mouse’ http://allpoetry.com/Diary-Of-A-Church-Mouse  and Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’ http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171647 . Both these poems (though most different!)  are so rich in character and setting that they lend to the ear wanting to hear them read out loud, over and over again.  This has always been a mark of a good poem to me!

EEN – Is there anything you’d like to say about the two pieces of artwork that you’ve chosen to post here along with your poem ? 

CR – There are a lot of artists in my family and that bar felt pretty high when I was growing up.   I had more of a kin to words and music than learning the art to painting, so it has never been a hobby as such.   I do however love botanical art in all its detail and perfection, so from time to time will bring a stem of something indoors to draw or paint it.  The red berries of autumn, as of my painting, were so great in number on the shrub outside my window I didn’t mind bringing a stem indoors to better study it!

My sensitivity to the natural world lends me readily to see more subtle shapes and colours as energies in the landscape, which evolve as I am witness to them.  I have often found myself sketching forms that I understand as over- lighting beings of a particular place.   The sketch attached is of the same woods as in the poem, drawn as I stood with back to a tree over half an hour last month.  The interest to me is of spontaneity, of discovery and insight into the senses -as opposed to needing such a sketch to look ‘good’.   This brings me into certain aliveness with the world that I feel my creativity seeks to express.

EEN – Thank You, Carolina!



  1. I enjoyed this very much and especially good to hear a poem read by the poet. It’s always great to read interviews with poets, how they began writing and what inspires them. Love the ‘certain aliveness’ – and hearing it made me feel I was wandering in the poet’s world. Thanks for this gentle start into December and memories of a beautiful autumn.

  2. Thank you Valerie, Abegail and Elly! I have been writing a similar style of poem for each month this year. It has been a good exercise on gratitude primarily, and what speaks up and through as the year evolves.

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