Dr Jack Thacker’s research interests include poetry and poetics, place and space, animal studies, agricultural and environmental writing, and the legacy of classical modes and forms in modernist and contemporary literature. His writing and his research are concerned with how the ‘georgic’ mode (as derived from the farming poetry of Virgil and as distinct from pastoral or ecopoetic perspectives) can enhance our perceptions of the landscape, its inhabitants and the threats they face.
The Out Gang
Viewed from orbit, the M25 might be defined
as a wire of light, a bracelet of gold, or the wall
of a cell. In former times, when marking the land,
a chief would draw a circle with the plough-tail:
this would mark the bounds of an encampment.
I lived within sight of old city walls, between
Walmgate Bar and the A64, and sometimes went
south on the corduroy path from Heslington
out to the Vale; sleepers buried in the ground,
the marshland tamed. Eventually I’d reach
a hedgerow of sound, tyres careering on grit.
Alone and miles from any main road, I heard it
again in the trees, waves crashing on a beach –
the roar of a distant crowd carried on the wind.
Originally published in Eborakon 3 (2017), p.19.