Monday, 18 May 2009

Postcard 31: Brontë and Plath

Top: Haworth, the moorland path (left) to Top Withens
Middle: Parson's Field adjoining the Brontë Parsonage
Bottom: The moor

I have been thoroughly enjoying the BBC4 series on a Monday evening, 'A Poet's Guide to Britain' by Owen Sheers, Poet in Residence at the Poetry Archive. In the first programme, Sheers tackled the subject of Wordsworth on Westminster Bridge; and in the second programme, the influence of the Brontë family and their landscape upon Sylvia Plath. The third programme, this evening, was about the well-loved poet from Orkney, George Mackay Brown.

I have blogged before about Haworth, but the programme opened new horizons for me. Sheers was considering the poem, 'Wuthering Heights' by Sylvia Plath, and it was fascinating to see what shadowings of Emily
Brontë one could detect in the later poet's lines. Plath, however, herself a newcomer to Yorkshire, was not content to relive the Brontë experience. Sheers showed us how she took what she found and made it her own.

My middle photograph shows a corner of Parson's Field in the sprawling
Brontë Meadow at the rear of the Haworth Parsonage. The dry-stone walling was erected in 1957 when the Brontë Society bought the land. The other areas of walling in the vicinity date from the 16th and 17th centuries and were used to mark the boundaries of the strips of field known as 'Long Roods'. Parson's Field was originally known as Over Long Roid: both 'roid' and 'rood' are Scandinavian terms for a woodland clearance.


Peter K Steinberg said...

Caroline, Thank you for your comment on my Plath blog. My copy of the DVD arrived just today, so I am just about ready to watch it.

April Lorier said...

You sound so literary, Caroline! I haven't read Sylvia Plath for years!

Love your photos and hope you sell hundreds of post cards!