Friday, June 23, 2006

Waking in the marram grass

The photograph here shows some silver marram grass we saw on the island of Bryher a couple of summers ago. It was swaying invitingly and reminded me of Thomas A. Clark’s short poem on falling asleep in marram grass, a poem that can be seen on his website. As the Scottish poetry library site’s page on him explains, Clark runs the Cairn gallery which has recently re-located to Pittenweem. I have not visited the new version, but the earlier gallery in Nailsworth was a special place with the feeling of a sanctuary: above an old post office, quiet, white rooms hung with minimalist art works and, here and there, small poetic inscriptions. We last went there in 2002 when there was an exhibition that made a connection between Novalis and Ian Hamilton Finlay’s book The Blue Sail. In the midst of Finlay’s poems this book includes Novalis’s statement on the importance of romanticising the everyday. The title of the anthology also recalls Novalis’s symbol of the blue flower.

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