Ms Nature, Hollie McNish

I love Radio 4… Every morning, I tune in and wonder what gems it will serve up; what new perspectives, insights or nuggets of knowledge will gleam out at me across the airwaves that day.

One such gem was a piece I heard on Woman’s Hour towards the end of last year. It was an interview with performance poet Hollie McNish. From the moment Hollie began to perform her poetry, I was stopped in my tracks, arrested by what I was hearing. I loved the sit-up-and-take-notice, spin-round-on-perspective style of her work. And I loved what she had to say, her desire to speak out against the trends; to open up a clearer picture of what matters beyond the rush and madness and surface.

In Fruit and Veg (the first poem Hollie performed on Woman’s Hour) and in Beautiful: Victoria Beckham or a Flower (which I’ve since heard on Hollie’s website), she confronts the sheer waste and emotional carnage of an appearance obsessed, media-led world where so many young women feel they need to wreck their own beautiful individuality to conform to an homogenised ‘ideal’ – and where celebrity and surface-focused culture blurs vision, thwarts potential and obscures so many riches and possibilities

Ms Nature, which Hollie McNish also performed on Woman’s Hour, is a poem about such riches – and, for me, to hear it was one of those diamond of the day moments.

If you’ve ever sat in a wood and felt its magic, or just had to escape to where nature reconnects you – to yourself and to life’s heart – this poem will speak to you…

You can hear Hollie McNish perform Ms Nature and other poems (including Fruit and Veg and Beautiful: Victoria Beckham or a Flower) here.


2 thoughts on “Ms Nature, Hollie McNish

  1. Thanks for this, Melanie – will look up Hollie McNish – but for now wanted to say that I *love* that photograph of the tree branches!

    • Thanks, Evie – I took the picture last summer, in a beautiful ancient woodland in Kent. I love twisty old hornbeam coppice – and this was one in a whole line of them, along an ancient boundary bank. The quirky twist of their branches, and the light filtering through them was just magical – and a few feet away, wild orchids were scattered along the bank. If it had been possible, I would have stayed sitting in that spot all day!

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