By MICHAEL CAINES
If you should find yourself cooched on your plock, eating your bait under a tree, as the mizzle of a blackthorn winter comes down, your bagging hook beside you – well, you've perhaps had the misfortune to have been transported to thirteenth-century England. (Sorry about that.)
It was in this period that St Katherine's Hospital for the poor and aged, the sick and distressed, travellers and pilgrims was founded in Ledbury, by Bishop Hugh Foliot of Hereford. The Bishop's aim was to take care of people's spiritual as well as their material needs; and the poet Adam Horovitz, in his role as Herefordshire's Poet in Residence over the past year, has written a quatrain that sums up this dual purpose neatly:
Keep your crusades. Here is the real
work of God: an end to hunger;
the repair of holes in the hedgerow;
nurture of soil and of soul.
I found that the "Here" of Horovitz's poem caught my eye – perhaps because it suggests a contribution to the poetic map of the world. . . .