Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kirkby Stephen Poetry Path

If you are ever in the Cumbrian town of Kirkby Stephen, it's well worth taking time to follow the delightful Poetry Path. You'll find large boulders, set at twelve locations, each representing a month in the farming year, each with an inscribed poem on the flat rock surface. The poems are by Meg Peacocke and the beautifully-carved  stone inscriptions were executed by Pip Hall.

This is July:

Silage tractor incises the first green furrow. 
Skilful geometrician, the driver judges
an arc of weather

August, with the poem inscribed on both flat faces of this rock:

Crab apples tart on the tongue,
hazelnuts milky,
rosehips cool in the hand,
thistledown silky,
squirrel is speaking his mind,
knapweed purples the banks,
for touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing
I give thanks

The December poem is inscribed across each face of these three stones, lying in a pasture:

There sails the heron,drawing behind him, a long wake of solitude

You can read more about the Poetry Path by clicking here and you can listen to a commentary and to the poems read out loud by clicking here


  1. How very delightful! I was intrigued by your post title which I spotted on someone's sidebar. I particularly like the December poem as I love Herons, I feel an affinity with their sense of solitude.

  2. We came upon it by accident Shysongbird. I was a delightful surprise.

  3. The first stone reminded me of the one (here) in Cwmdonkin Park, just up the hill from Dylan's Swansea home, inscribed with lines from 'Fern Hill' ...

  4. Hi Caroline, I wonder if that was the inspiration for this trail....

  5. What a brilliant and unusual idea.

  6. We thought it was too John - it really adds meaning to the landscape...

  7. Suggest changing the audio link to The Path was the inspiration of local resident Dick Capel, now 10 years old it has just been renovated.

    1. Thanks Ann, I'll update the link