The Cycle Diaries

The Cycle Diaries

‘Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.’  ~ William Wordsworth

January 2019, I returned to my native Dartmoor.  At the time, I was experiencing a kind of existential fatigue, exacerbated by a pervasively vapid consumer culture.  Spending time around nature helped alleviate the feeling that life was meaningless, which I found rather curious.  I began exploring various woodland trails, first by foot and then by mountain bike.  This evolved into the idea of writing an existential poem aiming to capture a sense of the authentic unearthed via an experience of unbridled joy.  Each canto represents a ride written on location that I typed up when I got home.  I allowed myself to correct certain errors for clarification, but otherwise each canto (or ride) is written exactly as it was in my notebook.  I liken the method and presentation of The Cycle Diaries to Jack Kerouac’s ‘Mexico City Blues,’ though I consider the overall aim to be quite different.

Below are some readings from a selection of cantos recorded on location.

© Christopher Sharp