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Walking the Poetry Path

August 31, 2012

March stone on the Poetry Path  I had the good fortune last week to find a fine day to walk the Poetry Path in Kirkby Stephen. The path is the work of poet Meg Peacocke and lettering artist Pip Hall. The path follows a circular route along public paths either side of the river Eden on the outskirts of Kirkby Stephen. A booklet and map/guide can be purchased from the Tourist Information Office in the centre of town.

The path is well used. Boots/wellies are advisable as some areas are muddy. The twelve stone poems along the route  tell the story of a year in the life of a hill farmer. March, shown here, was my particular favourite. I love the way the moss and lichen have claimed the poem, even though it makes the stone look as though it belongs in a graveyard. Some stones are more weathered than others making the letters hard to read so it is well worth investing in the booklet which contains both the verses and the carved decorative motifs.

This week I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting Meg Peacocke who has recently moved to Barnard Castle. During our conversation pertaining to poetry events/workshops at NeST gallery in Barnard Castle, Meg repeatedly came back to the point that she would like to encourage people to read and discuss poetry more often.

Having read some of Meg’s poems (which will shortly be on sale at NeST) I can recommend reading them to discover how she uses both verbs and imagery. I have marvelled at reading about ‘reiving wind and rain’, ‘planes needling the sky’ and ‘squirrels felting themselves onto trees.’

The latter reminded me of a line in one of my new poems about walking in Teesdale, which will be exhibited at NeST as part of the Natural England exhibition in mid-October:

‘On the outskirts of Garrigill

trees baized in reindeer moss

take me over the purpled tops …’

As we move into September it feels that I am moving into the start of a new cycle on my own poetry path. Autumn is my Springtime, the season I associate with new beginnings. In previous posts I have referred to The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler who draws parallels between the writer’s journey and the hero’s journey. If I were to pinpoint where I am on the path I would say I am back in Act One: The Ordinary World and waiting for ‘The Call to Adventure’ again.

Perhaps now is a good time to consider where you are on your own creative journey. Please feel free to comment and share your reflections.


From → Poetry

  1. Nice post. I like the idea of the lichen invading the words. And autumn being your springtime. Wx

  2. What a wonderful post – really enjoyed this and am envious of your walk. I met Meg at a poetry workshop with Jen Hadfield a couple of years ago and I had no idea at the time what a fine poet she is. I only learnt that we had the same passion for sharing poetry.
    I too feel I am on the cusp of change – just need encouragement and confidence to let go of what I am all too familiar with!!

    • Hi sue. Meg will be reading at NeST as part of an evening of Teesdale Poets Past, Present and Future on Thursday 15th Nov at 7p.m. Tickets cost £5. Bookings through From mid-September onwards I will be offering coaching for creative practitioners in County Durham and starting to post about coaching. Let me know if you are interested. Judith

  3. Must do this walk. Good luck with the ‘call to adventure’ i’t s such an exciting thing to a sense a new beginning.

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