Launch day yesterday and the Poetry Pin project has finally gone live, the wheels are now in motion, so who knows what magic will populate it’s pins, and who will journey to reveal over the next twelve months.
The trail itself passes through new meadowland, as EDF energy has planted thousands of trees to soften their impact on the local community. As a part of these works the rights of way were changed which kick started this project in the first place. This is a place about change, dislocation, movement, disturbance, transition and transformation, much of which has already happened. But this is nothing compared to what is about to come, and Poetry Pin is set to bear witness to this through art.
On Saturday the 8th, we will have our first workshop walk, (meeting at 11 am at Shurton Meadow gate TA5 1QQ – all welcome) and I am quite apprehensive about it. I am neither pro nor anti nuclear, but can see the immense impact on this area the build is having. It dominates the scenery and guides the walking path down to the sea, but there is so much more here, and the Poetry Pin project will only flourish if the authors pick up the gauntlet and go beyond the obvious.
Last week I was in East Somerset just talking about the project, and after my explanation her reply was ‘Well I hope someone writes something nasty.’ I was not surprised by this but I do think Poetry Pin and Hinkley Point deserve more, it is easy to fall to the default of hating the new, and dissing change.
So yes I want poetry, but as diverse as the weather, if all the submissions are poetical rants against nuclear then I think the poets are falling short, they are not raising their game to engage in discourse which is broader and wider than this. The power station is part of our hunger for progress, it harnesses primal forces to feed our play, and light our loved, it is a product of progress, whether we like it or loath it.
The image below of Silver Birch trees in gabions are at the foot of the Poetry Pin trail, and somehow in my mind they capture the very essence of this issue, of harnessing nature to our needs and desires. I remember travelling to Disney as a child in the late 70’s and seeing trees which were trolleyed around on wheels, their trunks pumped with nutrients. If I remember rightly they didn’t even have a root ball, just a truncated stump which was pressure fed to keep them alive in the LA heat.
What content comes will be at the artist’s whim, but I shall ask politely for the writers to see more than the obvious, push beyond the norm, break into new grounds, and new works. Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote ‘Ode to Sara’ on Shurton Bars some 200 years ago, this stony beach is where the trail ends. It’s deep poetical roots may set the bar too high for new submissions, but who’s to say that he will be the only genius to walk this way?
The Poetry Pin project is open now for a whole year, 24/7, you can walk, write, pin, and reveal to your hearts content using the browser based web app. Focus walks are on the second Saturday of each month, meet at 11 am at Shurton Meadow gate TA5 1QQ, all creatives welcome.