"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
About twelve years ago, I was doing fieldwork on the banks of the river Irwell in a grubby area near Rossendale. In this unlikely place I came across a piece of public art, shown at the bottom of this page. It made my day and stuck in my mind for all these years. Only now have I worked up my draft into something: something admittedly raw, unstructured, unfinished – but at least visible.
For an altogether more compelling take on art, have a look at this – a favourite poem of mine by the splendid U A Fanthorpe.
Art means Monet’s water lilies,
Whistlejacket rearing in his sheen.
The Lark Ascending, Schubert’s Trout,
Romeo and Prufrock,
Michelangelo flat on his back.
It’s all of that: and then it’s
like a baby at the font.
An ordinary day, walking an ordinary dog.
In this, my place of weekday weeds
I expect no miracles before breakfast.
Then this; like wine
when I had only asked for Weetabix.
Art. I was prepared to tug my forelock
when it kissed the nape of my neck.
All it asked me to do