Rarely, perhaps never before, have feelings and ideas about the land and natural environment been brought so close to feelings and ideas about national identity, and this comes across very strongly, of course, in the piece you’ve written for The Clearing. Your essay is a demonstration of the power of story: it is emotionally resonant, it is exciting and stirring. And I can’t help wondering what it will excite, and what it will stir.
Arcadia is like a bucket of cold water to the face. Wake up! it shouts. Wake up! Look! This world you see on screen is alien, and yet it brings a shiver of recognition. What is that in the trees? What do I see from the corner of my eye? I have been here before.
After her mother dies she thinks it good to dig her plot:
nineteen metres by thirteen, and given
over to goosegrass and offcuts of carpet, tucked
in the far corner of the allotments
There came the point when the secateur blades were within an inch of the antlers, which in the poor light seemed as grey as the honeysuckle. Then the roebuck had had enough. In one convulsive movement it flung itself into the air and broke free. It hurtled away, crashing downhill, disappearing into the darkness of the trees.