"The world you quit / Is staying here, so say goodbye to it."
While the landscapes of Thoreau and Watkins have been preserved by their art, John Burnside finds the wilderness that once covered America neutralised.
Tradition tells us if a bird sings at night, it's a nightingale. But it's not quite that simple.
In the bleak midwinter, there are few walks more energising.
94 percent of our peat bogs have been destroyed. Saving them is a vital step in securing our planet's future.
The child of a grey coal town in Calvinist Scotland, I was hungry for imagery, wild about colour and, even though I accepted that I would never live there, desperate for proof of some other world.
The work of a great artist often appears so fluent, so graceful, that we assume it must have come easily – but nothing in art is worth much if it is not hard won.
The Nature Column by John Burnside.
Staring into this powerful bird’s beady eye – its extraordinary face more African mask than that of a bird – I felt connected for a moment to something old and original.
The forest was where a traveller could become lost for ever and lose his rational bearings, as in the Arthurian tale of the Forest of Beguilement, a place, as Spenser puts it, full of “wayes unknowne”.
From Trump to Brexit, the world is changing fast - and we need intelligent, incisive journalism more than ever.
Subscribe to the New Statesman today and receive free gifts worth up to £62.