The Cycle Diaries
‘Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.’ ~ William Wordsworth
May 2019, I returned to my native Dartmoor. At the time I found myself feeling utterly bored and depressed to live in a society where both the individual and the collective experience has become colonised by the banality of a materialistic consumer culture. Spending time around nature helped alleviate a sense of despair, 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 an impression of authentic being unearthed via an experience of unbridled joy in the midst of Dartmoor’s mysterious landscape. 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.
Paperback edition is available to purchase here.
© Christopher Sharp