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