Monday, September 12, 2005


I wrote a poem yesterday about daddy-long-legs. Crane flies, in other words. The countryside is alive with them at this time of year; just hanging the washing out, hundreds sprang up out of the grass as I approached, taking to the air with their strange faery-like wings and those long legs splayed out like sky-divers'. And I can't open the windows at night in case they come in, hordes of them, flickering around the lights and getting in my hair, so the kitchen gets steamed up and I lose my temper, scooping the annoying little insects up and throwing them out of the door whenever I get the chance. It seems they are everywhere this year. It felt a little Hughesian to be writing about crane flies; there's something mythical about them, perhaps even nightmarish when they come into the house in such numbers, that they seem to fit perfectly into Ted Hughes' vision of the natural world. Besides, I've just found his poem A Cranefly in September, from Season Songs, with its astonishing description of her 'jointed bamboo fuselage', so accurately observed. But still, these are Warwickshire craneflies. Practically a different species.

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