One thing I like about John Glenday’s poetry is his recurring attention to “shadows,” which appear explicitly in several of his poems, like “The River,” “Etching of a Line of Trees,” and “For Lucie.” This is probably going to sound dumb, but for some reason when I think of Scottish landscapes–which I’ve only seen in movies and pictures–I always think of clouds rolling in and casting a dramatic shadow as they move over the land and hills. This probably just has to do with the specific movies I’ve seen, but I have a feeling that scenic views of that region (or the British Isles in general) often include this as kind of a generic beauty shot. For me, then, all of the “shadows” in his poems work well with the cloudy weather of the place that produced them, as well as with the collectively somber or contemplative mood of his work. Because he lives in the gorgeous land of Scotland, Glenday is lucky enough to be able to write about the beauty of nature without it sounding corny, and he does do it well. While I know everybody is allowed to write about anything they want, I personally think it is important that one live in a place that is geographically beautiful and well-preserved before writing nature poetry. For instance, I guess I could also write nature poetry, but since I grew up in the suburbs across the street from a manmade nature “preserve,” I feel like any of my potential musings on the beauty of nature would necessitate a little satire before being viewed as authentic or true by a respectable audience, or being considered for publication in the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology, for that matter.