Richard Lambert, feedback    2 .10. 2017 Richard Lambert’s inspiration has long been ‘Edge-‘ or, like the title of his new collection, ‘Nameless’ Places. His poems are what he makes from the landscapes he travels. To the suggestion that his journeys are dreamlike, he said ‘If I can follow that dream, that’s what I want.  I don’t analyse them too much, I just write them … The sound is the most important thing’. The result is seemingly unselfconscious and unerringly lyrical moon-full poems, in which a rowboat is an ‘unexpected guest’; rivers ‘lope’ slowly, packing ‘volumes between narrow banks’ and ‘sheets of newspaper cartwheel... to mishap’. We heard poems about the moon, about a white deer  that ‘ran out from under the hood of your heart’ on ‘clippy-cloppy hoofs’ and Winter Gardens in their demise as vulnerable as ‘a naked man lying on his back, open / to sun, mist, hail, a summer storm’. Richard’s music captured his audience.   * Hilda’s stand of Scots pines (‘Pining’, a good title) took on human attributes. Amidst ‘defeated warriors’ there grew a bold protector, ‘one whose branches scythe the sky’. ‘September Chase End Hill’ by Jane Amherst (Mike’s choice) also personified landscape. In Peter’s garden poem, (‘Reading the Papers’), the yellow rose ‘stretches and yawns.’ But the image that really grabs is  of geraniums ‘quietly wetting themselves .. like children in assemblies’. Maureen’s  ‘Landscapes’ found magic in both the icy brightness of LA, and in North Norfolk’s neat sequence of marshes, beaches, sea’.  Her poem is knit by a final, almost repeated line, to each stanza. Pippa’s ‘By Candlelight – A Riddle’, came with her introduction to a landscape of the heart. To my mind, this suits her poem better, although the heart as a ‘brown dwarf’ needs contemplating! North American Mary Oliver writes a lot of poems about swans, one of which describes the bird as an ‘armful of white blossoms’. I couldn’t find online ‘Swans on the River Ayr’. This was Dominic’s choice because it is where some of his ancestors hail from. We had two ‘Octobers’, one with shining seas and pine forests by George Macdonald; one by Edward Thomas, tossing between happiness and melancholy. Billy Collins takes an inimitable slant on travel as on everything else. Rather than joy or gloom, he writes about embarrassment. Instead of country or garden flowers, he writes of those depicted on his wallpaper. My poem, ‘The Starlight Night’, must be one of Hopkins’ best-known sonnets. It returns us to Richard’s words about the significance of sound.