Sunday, 22 July 2012
RAIN - a poem by Simon Armitage
Be glad of these freshwater tears, each pearled droplet some salty old sea bullet airlifted out of the waves, then laundered and sieved, recast as a soft bead and returned......
This is one of several poems written by Simon Armitage, commissioned by the Ilkley Literature Festival and imove; one of many cultural events happening across the country in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games.
Each poem has been carved, by lettercarver Pip Hall, in natural rock at a different location along the Pennine Watershed (the highest part of the South Pennines) from Marsden to Ilkley, forming a trail known as the Stanza Stones Poetry Trail. It can be walked as a whole trail (47 miles) over three days or tackled in much shorter walks to visit each location.
I sought out this one (it seemed appropriate, after the weather we've been having!) high on the moors overlooking Littleborough - a wild area of upland peat bog, windswept and often bleak. It was an exhilarating walk, on a day when the sun couldn't decide whether to declare itself or not. This part of the Trail follows the Pennine Way, the oldest of England's long-distance footpaths, so there were several other people walking the path, but it still felt a solitary place to be, up there on top of the world with the kestrels and cottongrass.