Thursday, 13 November 2008

crab & winkle

The Crab & Winkle Way was the first continuously operated passenger rail service in Britain, running between Canterbury and Whitstable. It was in use from 1830 through to the early 1950s. The line climbed over hills and, at the top of the gradient, there’s a pond formerly used to supply water for the engine and a wood sculpture (above) by Tim Norris referencing the winding mechanism used to haul the engine up the steeper slopes. Part of the line is now occupied by a cycle track, part of the national network. I walked this path yesterday from the University of Kent campus to the coast. It was the first fine day for a couple of weeks almost. I’m using ‘Crab & Winkle’ as the title for the book Shearsman will be bringing out around April 2009. It’s a long journal-type poem that I initially drafted over the year from August 2006 and revised subsequently. Some sections have so far appeared in Jacket and onedit.

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