Ann Sandell

As part of the Artful Ways project, Ann recently led a walk around Kirkby Stephen Poetry Path … 

“What a glorious morning for our leisurely walk around Kirkby Stephen Poetry Path, meeting at The Cloisters, Kirkby Stephen Market Square.  Armed with two Poetry Path booklets and crayons, plus paper to do rubbings from the special plaques to be found on the stones, we also took it in turns to read the poems written by Meg Peacock and discuss their content.

Overwhelmingly, we discussed the sense of place for each stone and the scene that the poems expressed capturing the countryside or the farmer’s task.  It was so easy, on this beautiful sunny morning with dappled shade in the woodland areas, to enjoy the joy of inner peace that the countryside brings, together with poetry after our time of anxiety during the pandemic including when we were unable to meet as friends. We agreed that creativity is enhanced by the landscape and art trails give purpose and attract walkers.

As well as taking it in turns to recite the poems, we did rubbings from the stones doing our own simple art works. The morning’s experience brought use closer together.

This environment is also uppermost in our minds as we witness Ash Dieback and we are looking for possible projects to address the forthcoming loss which will be so devastating.

Thinking about this all afterwards, I envisaged a painting based on Meg’s December poem:

There sails the heron
Drawing behind him a long

Wake of solitude.

I have often seen a lone heron taking off from the River Eden nearby and even in this spot on two occasions.  The solitude so fits the heron and our recent guidelines when there were so many isolated people who are now allowed meet friends and relatives and expand their horizons as the pandemic eases – even take flight like the heron of my imagination.

I quickly did this painting as part of the Picturing Kirkby Stephen competition and won third prize.

Painting of a Heron taking flight

Leave a Reply