“I’m still tired, but feeling positive now. I really appreciate this, the chance to write the poems. When life has been harsh to deal with, it’s helped.”
One of the things I have witnessed over and over again is that making art, writing poems, stitching embroidery, can help to unpick despair. Nobody really knows why, there are lots of theories. At times making a poem or an artwork is simply a distraction. It takes the mind onto other things, stops those restless thoughts chasing each other and becoming frantic.
Art can also help understanding. Writing a poem gives your thoughts new shape and perhaps allows new answers. An artwork is a representation of the world and connects you to it more deeply. Slowing yourself down to the intricate pace of an embroidery gives you time to meditate and find a richer texture in the whole of life.
“I’m feeling my way forward, using my poems as a guide.”
Making things not only shows the exterior world, it also reflects the inner life and makes it richer, brighter. If you can, take a little time to live with the prose poem below. It’s a celebration of trees, the wonderful, familiar friends that I often don’t give a second glance. But here they’re transformed by the poet’s eyes — into furniture, into children begging for pennies, into a swirling cloak that becomes an old coat, or into old pale bones against a winter sky. As well as trees, all the seasons of human life are in this little poem and so it helps me to appreciate my own. And for the makers of such work it is transforming too…
“I found this to be very useful. More than useful, brilliant in fact.”
The Hollies are still wintergreen, come spring, leathery, shiny-tough, reliable as upright chairs in their utility upholstery.
Plum and cherry let the March winds take their snow and ruby blossoms from them, holding out small fingers for their fee, which came in copper verdigris and silver tarnish, well-used coins and promise of paper money for the fall.
Oak begins leafing out from nowhere, fine, fresh, lettuce-like, so young.
Sycamore sings, spreading hand spans which unfold into a summer cloak whose generous swirls conceal old mossy coat.
Beech, whose bones arched stark against the pale, cold, winter sky, now shimmers in the heat, the flesh full, lush, deliciousness.
Today’s blog was written by Philip Davenport, arthur+martha.
A Necklace of Stars, is supported by Arts Council England, Arts Derbyshire, DCC Public Health and Derbyshire County Council Home Library Service.