Interlitq: You refer in some of your poems to your childhood in India. Do you feel you need to travel to exotic places to gain a sense of wonderment?
Ruth Sharman: I do feel a sense of wonderment – largely second hand – through my father’s experience of remote regions like the Amazon Rainforest and the evergreen jungles of South India. What could be more wonderful than seeing a cloud of lime blues, several thousand strong, rising from the banks of a stream in the Nagalapuram Hills? But I was lucky enough to develop a real passion for nature while walking with my father as a child in the English countryside. From early on, the tiny worlds that took hold on a rotten tree stump – the forests of moss, the clumps of wood sorrel – were as much a source of wonder as the iridescent wings of a morpho butterfly.