Jonathan Bate believes that the slow, meditative reading of poetry – absorbing ourselves in the images of a poem, slowing to its beat, allowing our minds to rest in the pause of a line-ending – can bring us tranquility as we find echoes of our own experiences on the page. Experiences of beautiful places, strong feelings and moments that lift the human spirit.
In The Shepherd’s Hut, Bate introduces us to the diet of swans, the quest for inner peace in ancient Chinese poetry, the English seaside and the summer Mediterranean, a rose garden and a snow-covered moor. He reminds us what it is like to fall in love and to say goodbye.
These are poems of memory and of mourning; quick-fire thoughts and longer meditations inspired by the great poets of the past.
All author proceeds will be donated to ReLit, a small charitable foundation established by Jonathan Bate and his wife, author Paula Byrne, devoted to the act of reading as an invaluable form of stress relief in our busy world.