Sunday, 27 August 2017

A purple shimmer with peacocks


A purple shimmer of Blue John,
a peacock flare hidden in crystal :
the Unfinished Poems project at
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery


Dig and chisel and quarry and flake,

Polish black or shimmer blue,

Of languid tale or unslumbering wake,

Minerals glinting with a different hue,

Of rock and earth for sorrow or mirth,

For times gone by and of memories new.

(Laura Huxford)


The Collections of the Artists project is reaching its final stages now. Exciting pieces of work are poised to appear among the treasures of the Wonders of the Peak gallery in Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.

this landscape offers a lot
I have been writing poems and stories inspired by the collection. There have been earlier pieces here (links at foot of page). One of the latest pieces I have been working on is not a single bit of writing but is rather a set of unfinished poems: 2 lines that might provoke a response relating to different aspects of the collection. There are 8 of these poems, printed on postcards with a picture to colour in and some possibly useful words scattered around, inviting people to complete the poems as they explore, colour in the picture and send the postcard to a friend (but hoping they will send us the poems as well!)

The first poems are coming in now so I thought I would post these and invite readers of the blog to add their own responses to the opening lines. You may never have seen our Galleries but then you might have your own history of over-enthusiastic diggers, beautiful stone and prehistoric tool makers…

There are 8 Poems in the set: I’ll do the 3 here that we’ve had responses to and post others over the next couple of weeks
(uncredited poems are ones handed in by visitors with no name attached)

If you do write your own completed poem: send it to toadwords@btinternet.com
I can’t promise to use everything but will try to

Ashford Black Marble with inlaid decoration

DECORATIVE STONE

Starting points here are the Ashford Black Marble pieces and our Blue John carvings and window

 
these are the line drawings visitors have been colouring in

2. Dig and chisel and quarry and flake,
Polish black or shimmer blue,
In everything I seek,
None can compare
To the Wonders of the Peak
(Anon)

Unfinished poem:
Dig and chisel and quarry and flake,
Polish black or shimmer blue



Useful words: new, wake, make, bake, flew, blew

 

those cairns didn't stand much chance
VICTORIAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS
A lot of our collection grew from the efforts of those Victorian enthusiasts who went out across and under the Peaks

3. Shovels and spades dig piles of earth
Burrowing into the ancient mound
Where my ancestor lies undisturbed
Until I pull him out.
(Anon)

 4. Shovels and spades dig piles of earth
Burrowing into the ancient mound
A spade is a spade by no other name
So, it is plain to say, just shovel away
(Anon)

Unfinished poem:
Shovels and spades dig piles of earth
Burrowing into the ancient mound


Useful words: worth, hearth, treasures, found, ground

STONE AGE TOOLS
And largely as a result of those Victorians above, we have a large collection of prehistoric tools including delicate Mesolithic flints that lie like notes on the staves of their display cards. There are careful arrowheads, polished stone axes and more…
 
mesolithic flints
5. A hammer blow splits flint from stone,
A firebow wakes embers from the wood,
A knife splits flesh from the bone,
The echoes sound throughout the wood.
(Anon)

6. A hammer blow splits flint from stone,
A firebow wakes embers from the wood,
The branch bends, the sinew sings,
That flint on an arrow
Brings the goose to the fire
And the family rests.
(Creeping Toad)

Unfinished poem:

A hammer blow splits flint from stone,
A firebow wakes embers from the wood,


Useful words: moan, groan, alone, bone, good, food

With many thanks to the writers, known and unknown, of our finished poems!  

Blogs connected to this proejct:
http://creepingtoad.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/collection-of-artists-writing-starts.html
http://creepingtoad.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/fin-cop-pausing.html

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