5 out of 5 stars

The Pennines are some of our most distinctive upland landscapes. The natural contours shaped by the environment are also deeply scarred by man as people have sought to exploit the resources in the ground. This place is raw and elemental. This is the poet, Simon Armitage’s home territory too, he was born in the village of Marsden and knows this landscape intimately.


You are lost, adrift in hung water

and blurred air, but you are here.


In 2012 he was commissioned by the Ilkley Literature Festival to write site-specific poetry for the footpaths in the region. The project blossomed and with Tom Lonsdale and started to explore sites that would be suitable locations for his poetry. Calling on the expertise of letter-carver Pip Hall the ideas started to form into solid entities. Secluded sites were selected, words were collected from the landscape and he began to form them into poems. This dynamic and iterative process that saw his words carved into stone


To take one drop on the tongue, tasting

cloud pollen, grain of the heavens, raw sky.


I can’t quite remember how I came across this book, I have a vague recollection of seeing a link or reference pass through on social media somewhere and thought that I might like that. My library had a copy and it turns out I loved it. This is a beautiful book is about the closely woven links between landscape, art, poetry and geology. Aged rocks that have centuries old patina and grime have a crisp font carved out by Pip Hall and are then placed in the landscape. The words Simon has written have profound resonance to the surrounding landscape.  It is a beautiful book and a stunning art project.

The link to the website is here : http://www.stanzastones.co.uk, have a look and then get the book.

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