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May’s Stories and Poems

Written by Rachael Norris, 11th May 2021

The world is starting to gradually open up to us all once more, so it seems fitting in more ways than one that May's selection of Stories and Poems have been chosen with the theme of Walking The Earth in mind.

Walking The Earth is 2021 - 2022's theme for The Reader Bookshelf, inspired by great literature that’s about humans surviving life on earth, or our experiences of living alongside our fellow humans on the planet, getting through life – or more literally, walking, and the choices for this month's Stories and Poems speak to and reflect the human journeys - physical and metaphorical – we take to become who we are, about living on and with planet earth.

Setting out on journeys and connecting more closely to natural surroundings can be found in abundance in May's prose selections. We discover how the physical world can become particularly helpful, indeed even invaluable, in giving grounding in times of difficulty, how seemingly simple acts made by one person can have much further reaching impacts for a community, and how walking through nature can provide solace, as well as bringing up the odd surprise here and there.

May's stories and extracts are:

'Seismic Shift', extract from The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

'Moss Witch' by Sara Maitland

The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono (translated by Barbara Bray)

'Waiting for the Evening News' by Tim Gautreaux

Tess of the d'Urbervilles (extract) by Thomas Hardy

The physical act of walking appears throughout this month's poetry choices, from journeying through nature and reflecting on the beauty that is to be found there, to making a stand that has more significant impacts for society. Slowing down is something we're always advocating as part of Shared Reading, and this month's selection of poems also give us the chance to reflect on how having the permission to go slow can be something that offers so many benefits.

'Trespass' by John Clare

'This is the time to be slow' by John O'Donohue

'Speaking Tree' by Joy Harjo

'For Rosa Parks' by Lorna Goodison

'The Infinite' by Giacomo Leopardi (translated by Henry Reed)

Even more suggestions can be found as part of the Daily Readings for May, which also have the theme of Walking The Earth. Stay tuned to The Reader at Home over the month to see what's coming up.

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