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Letters From Yorkshire
Transcript of Letters From Yorkshire
Letters From Yorkshire
In February, digging his garden, planting potatoes,
he saw the first lapwings return and came
indoors to write to me, his knuckles singing
About the poem
Shows the time of year. February; new beginnings as it is the start of the year. Possibly shows a new relationship. February is also quite a fresh month which again many symbol fresh starts/new beginnings.
as they reddened in the warmth.
It's not romance, simply how things are.
You out there, in the cold, seeing the seasons
turning, me with my heartful of headlines
feeding words onto a blank screen.
Is your life more real because you dig and sow?
You wouldn't say so, breaking ice on a waterbutt,
clearing a path through snow. Still, it's you
who sends me word of that other world.
The enjambment may show how fluidly he moved from outside to inside, suggesting that he was very eager to come inside to write to her.
pouring air and light into an envelope. So that
at night, watching the same news in different houses,
our souls tap out messages across the icy miles.
This may show how eager he is to write a letter,his knuckles are
with pleasure that he is able to write to who he really wants to. This may suggest that who he is writing to is very special to him. Perhaps he has a girlfriend, or maybe he is just writing to a family member.
There is a contrast/ juxtaposition in the poem of the ideas of closeness and distance, both physically and emotionally.
“It’s not romance” implies emotional distance, perhaps a longing for a time when they were closer. “Heartful” suggests the writer cares and there is still a type of love between them.
The poem opens with man working in his garden, planting after winter, then the speaker imagines him coming inside to write to her. It does not reveal the relationship is between them - they could be friends or family.
The speaker is busy with her work, typing on to a computer and thinking about the news headlines. She asks the direct question 'is your life more real...?'because he is connected with the land, but knows he would not agree with this. She describes the letters as being filled with 'air and light' as if the fresh Yorkshire air has been posted to her. This helps to make her feel that their souls are connected 'across the icy miles'.
The straightforward language explores the way we can still feel connected
with people who live far away from us even though we are apart and living very
The stanza ends in enjambment. Dooley has celeverly placed it here as the stanza is about the
the enambament gives the feeling that the season has changed into a new one.
About The Poem
Themes and Structure
Themes and Structure
About the Poet
A lecturer in creative writing, Dooley has published several collections of poetry. Dooley uses lyric form to explore memory and both her own voice and voices of personas in her poetry. Similar to other poets, she inserts a political consciousness in her writing. Letters from Yorkshire ws written after she moved to York in London in the late 1980's.
This poem is about a relationhship separated by distance, but maintained by thought and the written word. Themes of friendship and meaning wind through the lines as they spill into each other. The pleasure the poet recieves from the friendship is conveyed through the image of the 'air and light' poured into the envelope. She structures her poem with contrast. The contrast between the town and country; between the envelope and the keyboard; between planting food and planting ideas. She demonstrates a great respect for both worlds and the meaning found in differences.
Warm, cosy words
The sudden use of the word "cold" shows contrast in the poem. Maybe this could contrast the two types of people in the poem, suggesting why they can't be together.
Form and Structure
This may suggest what sort of life she now has. Maybe she works as a newspaper writer, or maybe she is already a poet, or maybe she is still studying and this shows the numerous amount of essays that she has to write. The word 'heartful' may show that it is now her work which 'has her heart' and how she feels like she has no room or time for a romance, and this is why she moved away.
The poem is structured in five, three-line stanzas. Most of the lines have five beats or stresses, though not in a strict metrical pattern, and there is no use of end rhyme. There is enjambment between some lines and between stanzas one and two, and four and five. All of this contributes to the sense of normal speech patterns, which links to the idea that the poem is about two ordinary, separate but connected lives.
The fact that Dooley uses "the same news" shows that her life is very simplistic and organised.
Suggests that the screen or computer needs to be 'fed' and that her work needs constant attention. This could be the reason that she moved away from her lover; because she no longer had time for that, and her work takes all of her time and attention. The word "feeding" is not exactly a pleasant word to decribe this, so this usggests that she sees her work as a burden, and wishes that things were different,
Perhaps her lover is trying to seek her out. The 'snow' may represent the distance between them which he is digging through, or the workload which is he trying to get past in order to be with his lover.
Them being together is like trying to 'break ice'. Her lover is trying something which is almost impossible. This ocul also suggest that maybe he is moving on and "breaing ice" with new women. This would make her very sad.
Shows how far away from him she feels, and how she feels that their lifestyles are completely different.
CAMERON LOVES GREEN
Makes it sound like a secret, forbiden relationship.
This shows how hard she feels it would be to travel the distance betwen them, and how impossibel she feels it would be
Thanks for listening!