Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Poetry Set in Stone

I'm very excited to have had a sneak preview of a brilliant stone sculpture and mosaic made by the artist Andrew Tebbs for a new installation at Newton, near Tibshelf. This public artwork was made by Andrew after consultation with local residents and he passed some of their thoughts and memories about the Newton area on to me so that I could turn them into a short poem.

The finished poem, 'Who Goes There?' has now been carved into the sculpture - the first time I've had any of my writing set in stone!

Andrew mentioned to me that many people had spoken to him about nearby Tibshelf services and the fact that so many famous people have stopped there over the years. I wondered what would happen if a local lad from the distant past - the cotton spinner Jedediah Strutt - decided to pop by for a visit. My short poem was inspired by a strange convergence of cotton mills and service stations, Derbyshire past meeting Derbyshire present.

Who goes there?

Who goes there, who goes there?
Jedediah Strutt with loom-spun hair,
stepping clean out of the air,
cotton-spinning, slow with care.

Who goes there, who goes there?
Fix the present in your stare.
we’re all Jedediah’s heirs,
weaving stories: homemade, rare.

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