Poet draws inspiration from nature

Adré Marshall will be at the McGregor Poetry Festival.

Kenilworth poet Adré Marshall has an insatiable love of the outdoors, and it is not at all surprising that it’s from nature that she draws most of her inspiration.

The former Stellenbosch University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and University of Cape Town English lecturer regards herself as something of a “late bloomer”, having only begun to submit works for publication in the past six years.

However, her efforts have not gone unnoticed and this year she was invited to the annual McGregor Poetry Festival, taking place in the winelands from tomorrow Friday August 26 to Sunday August 28.

“I wrote poetry as a child and even won a prize in Grahamstown during an inter-schools competition, but I really only began to focus on my poetry in the past five or six years. Some have been published in journals such as Carapace, New Contrast and Stanzas,” she said.

“I actually look back at the poetry I wrote earlier earlier in life and I want to cringe.”

While Ms Marshall has not yet ventured into international waters – “my son calls me a techno-peasant because I haven’t published on the web” – for the moment she is content to be inspired by the natural world, taking long walks and hiking at every possible opportunity.

“I feel inspired by the natural world, and I love animals. When I’m out hiking, there is so much to see and think about. However, I also like to do light-hearted poetry, and write about the Third Age, the experiences of older people. These are the kind of poems that show you can still do creative things when you get older. I don’t think these themes are restricted to older audiences however. I think they are universal.”

An example of the kind of humour she likes to inject into her poetry can be found in the work, “In Dire Kneed” – an ode to failing knees: “Now this knee shoots shafts of pain along my leg; Not bending, it buckles, it’s a powder keg; About to blow up, sending splinters of bone; Showering over the fynbos all the way home.”

Ms Marshall said while should could not pin her inspiration to any one poet, she enjoyed the works of Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson.

“I am very thrilled to have been invited to the McGregor Festival. There will be established and new poets there, and the weekend is bound to stimulate new ideas. I’m sure it’s going to be a wonderful weekend.”