The Royal Agricultural College has produced an anthology of poems called Our Common Ground. The focus of the anthology is on poems about farming and the countryside, and is edited by Peter Brooks (Head of Library Services) and Lorna Parker (College Archivist).
A copy of the anthology has been given to all new students on their arrival this October. The stimulus for the collection came from chance conversations at the College about the role that poetry has played in expressing the enjoyment and value that we get from our land, and the need for this appreciation to be more widely shared.
The anthology contains just over 100 poems both well known and less-often seen, modern and from earlier times – but all hopefully accessible to everyone. As the president of the Royal Agricultural College, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, says in his foreword to the collection, ‘For many people, no other medium can capture the glorious sensation of agriculture and the countryside like poetry’.
Peter Brooks, the College Librarian, says, ‘I’m absolutely delighted at how well the anthology has been received by all who have read it. It has been particularly gratifying to get very positive comments from modern poets whose poems we have included in the anthology, as well as from the general reader. It was always my intention when choosing poems for inclusion in the anthology to try to achieve a balance between poems that are familiar and poems that may well be new but which can also enrich our understanding and appreciation of the countryside. The feedback we have had suggests that we were successful in achieving that.’
Copies of the anthology are currently available from the College shop.