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February 12, 2017

Silver Lining by Carol Ann Duffy

Five miles up, the hush and shoosh of ash,

yet the sky is as clean as a wiped slate-

I could write my childhood there. Selfish

to sit in this garden, listening to the past-

a gentleman bee wooing its flower, a lawnmower-

when grounded planes mean ruined plans, holidays

on hold, sore absences from weddings, funerals,

wingless commerce.

            But Britain’s birds

sing in this spring, from Inverness to Liverpool,

from Crieff to Cardiff, Oxford, London Town,

Land’s End to John O’Groats; the music silence summons,

that Shakespeare heard, Burns, Edward Thomas; briefly, us.

From April 15 to April 19 of 2010, airspace over much of Europe was closed. Planes were grounded by the Icelandic volcano that no newsreader could pronounce (Eyjafjallajokull). As Carol Ann Duffy wrote in her poem, this ecological disaster meant that plans were ruined, businesses dependant on air freight went under, people were stopped by a forc...

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