Matt Harvey: Less is More

Matt Harvey is a poet, broadcaster, writer and well known stand-up comedy artist in the UK.  He is one of Radio 4′s Saturday Live‘s poets and performs widely in the UK in colleges, literary festivals and events. He’s also the founder of Wondermentalist, a movement which fuses poetry, music and humour.   Matt has graciously allowed EWTT to share with our readers this witty yet profound poem created by him.

by Matt Harvey

Can less be more, can more be less?

Well, yes and no, and no and yes

Well, more or less…

More bikes, fewer cars

Less haze, more stars

Less haste, more time

Less reason, more rhyme

More time, less stress

Fewer miles, more fresh (vegetables)

Fewer car parks, more acres of available urban soil

More farmers’ markets, less produce effectively marinated in crude oil

Less colouring, more taste

More mashing, less waste

Fewer couch potatoes, more spring greens

Fewer tired tomatoes, more runner beans

More stillness, less inertia

Less illness, more Echinacea

More community, less isolation

Less just sitting there, more participation!

More wells (not oil ones, obviously), fewer ills

Fewer clean fingernails, more skills

More co-operation, less compliancy

Less complacency, more self-reliancy

Less competition, more collaboration

Less passive listening, more participation!

Less attention defic…, more concentration

Less passive listening, more participation!

(Less repetition)

Less of a warm globe, more a chilly’un

More of a wise world, at least 340 fewer parts of C02 per million

Less stress-related cardio-vascular and pulmonary failure

More nurturing quality time in the company of a favourite clematis or dahlia

More craftsmanship, less built-in obsolescence

More political maturity, less apparently-consequence-free extended adolescence

More believed-to-be-beautiful, known-to-be-useful things

Less cheap, pointless, petroleum-steeped stuff

So Yes, less is more – and enough’s enough…


The poem “Less is More” appears here in the Wondermentalist site.  Matt has kindly provided EWTT with the slightly revised version of the poem as shared above. It will appear in the  forthcoming book called “Where Earwigs Dare” which is due to be released in the UK later this month. Published by Green Books, it promises to be ” a collection of Matt’s latest poems, horticultural, whimsical, ecological, political and just plain funny.”

Matt Harvey reads a part of the poem, “Less is More” in this interesting BBC production on Transition Towns (7:32 to 8:22 minutes of the video) . Matt lives in Totnes, UK’s first Transition Initiative, which envisions a sustainable future given the twin challenges of peak oil and climate change.


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Posted by on Sep 14 2010. Filed under Consumerism, Green Activism, Sustainable Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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