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Poster poems: clouds

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As changeable on the page as in the skies above, theyve inspired countless poets now share your poetic experiments in cloud-spotting

Living on the ocean-facing side of an island in the North Atlantic, you cant but be aware of the ever-changing skyscape. The clouds tend to dominate much of the days activity and mood, and even their names are evocative, mysterious and a touch poetic. Stratus, cumulus, cirrus: theyre like names of characters in some lost Greek drama.

Probably the best-known cloud in English poetry is Wordsworths lonely wanderer. In a typical example of Wordsworthian anthropocentricism, the cloud is not really a cloud at all it exists as a stand-in for the poet, who imposes his own supposed loneliness on it. I say supposed because, as Dorothy Wordsworths diary makes clear, Wordsworth wasnt actually alone when he saw the famous daffodils. But perhaps he felt lonely in her company.

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