Muse and Meadow

IMG_7899 Even if not here, Spring is always happening somewhere.  This weekend I tracked it down in London, galloping ahead of us like a runaway horse. At the Poetry Society’s gathering for the Ted Hughes Award and the National Poetry Competition, I was delighted to receive First Prize for my poem Bernard and Cerinthe, which began life among the gorgeous blooms in my friend Susie’s garden. Garden of verses … Honeywort or Cerinthe major Purpurascens – one of the romantic leads in

Cerinthe is a stunner, also known as honeywort or wax flower.  I intend to try and grow some in my garden this summer.  If this fog lifts and the soil warms up.

IMG_7893 It also gave me an excuse to visit the lovely Garden Museum and see their exhibition on Fashion and Gardens. Lots of fascinating connections – fabrics, prints and paintings, as well as several mannequins dressed to kill in garden-inspired outfits.   The highlight, almost literally, was Rebecca Louise Law’s installation, The Flower Garden Display’d, named after the 1734 book, a month by month directory of flowers, by Robert Furber, on loan from the British Library.

IMG_7922Standing beneath it, the world was turned upside down – ceiling became meadow and, as the flowers were drying and dying, marriage bed became winding sheet.   It seemed more Elizabethan than eighteenth century somehow – redolent of strewing herbs and embroidered bodices, Shakespeare sonnets.  In the vaulted ceiling of the converted church, catching the light from the arched and stained glass windows, it was sublime – sacred and secular. To walk beneath it was to cross the threshold into whatever April might bring.

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One thought on “Muse and Meadow

  1. Ellen Phethean says:

    Great news! Congratulations on the prize x

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