Winter 1778


I’ve tried a bit of an experiment here. I haven’t actually written it.

Gilbert White ( 1720-1792) did that. Or rather, he wrote a long- running and detailed journal from which I have lifted a sentence here, a phrase there. The words are entirely those of Gilbert White. All I’ve done is arrange the flowers.

Have you ever tried that ? Any text will do… have a go…let me know..

Here’s the poem:

Leaves fall very fast. My hedges
show beautiful lights and shades.
Rain all night. One vast shower.
Vast rain and strong wind.
My well has risen many feet.
The earth is glutted now with water
which runs from our fields
into the hollow lanes.

The tortoise is very torpid
but does not bury himself.

Water froze in my chamber window.
The tortoise begins to dig into the ground.
Rain all night. And wind.
The tortoise retires to his coop.

Shallow snow. Ground very hard.
Snow all night. Snow lies on the hills.
Snow half-shoe deep on the hill.
The ground is as hard as a rock.
The ground is hard as iron.
The snow is drifted to the tops of gates.
The lanes are full. A very deep snow.

The tortoise does not stir.

Compiled from the journals of Gilbert White (1720-1793)


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