Peddling Poets with Beaford Arts
So the leaves are stripping neatly from the trees as we plunge towards the darkest hours of the year, yet this is when the background planning works shift into full swing. All those great ideas which happen on long summer days have to solidify into proper schemes, or else they will be shed just like the leaves.
During August and September there were ten Beaford Poetry Boxes tethered along the trail, each had just a book and a pencil inside and asked for walkers to ‘draw read or write’ within. By the end of the eight weeks over six hundred poems had been added and some two hundred and fifty sketches too. Each week Mr Jelley would check the boxes to keep them looking perfect but also geotagged a selection to the poetry pin channel – https://tarkatrail.poetrypin.info.
As I write there are over one hundred and fifty poems pinned along this trail, and the only way to read them is to walk (or ride) there. So a quick tutorial for those who haven’t used Poetry Pin – firstly open https://tarkatrail.poetrypin.info on your phone, each poem has been geotagged roughly to the spot they were written, travel to this spot and they will reveal when in close proximity. If you are inspired you can also pin a new poem, just click ‘add poem’ and then write your words, but remember when you click submit these words will be geotagged and pinned to the very location you are stood. It is immediate so the next poetry hunter can come and read your words.
But one thing which made this trail different to previous outings of the Poetry Boxes, aside from the geotagging to Poetry Pin, was that each tin had an image taken in North Devon around the 1970’s and 80’s. These were made available from the Beaford Arts archives who commissioned Mr Jelley to run this project.
The idea was multifold, firstly it was a new way for this archive to be shared with a new audience, they would also hopefully seed some great poetry, and connect with local recent history at the same time. By the end of the two months, and judging by the interactions and signatures in the tins, over three thousand people had connected with the project and the Beaford Archive images.
So with the success of the poetry along the Tarka Trail this summer the trail is already rich with words. We will be running new writing workshops in May 2019 along side the Beaford Arts exhibition at the Burton Gallery, Bideford. But to make things just that more fun, two of these poetry rambles will be peddling poetry rides so bring your bike!
Here are the dates and details for your diary, all of them Sundays – 12th, 19th and 26th May 2019 – pop them in your diary and see you there – no charge, though we do expect you to write a little!
Teddy Spread by C Jelley
Never scrubbed, more tenderly dressed
chosen considered as one
to the n’th degree
This is the moment
drawn from their bedding soil
harvested at peek after tender labour toils
The gauntlet was drawn in generations gone
and the judge
must now be singular and at one
Under tweed control
blood honour rests
for rosettes will be won only
by the best of the best
This spread of platters fit for a King
summon all the Pipers now for the Earl to sing within
teddies in fives as precious angels eggs
await the nod
the mark of the Royal
the marquee of trestles presides today
before the company is mashed and boiled
Beaford Arts – https://beaford.org
And Beaford Poetry Boxes – https://beaford.org/discover-a-beaford-poetry-box/
Tarka Trail Poetry Pin trail – https://tarkatrail.poetrypin.info
Mr Jelley – http://jelley.info