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Reading Museum celebrates poetry

Poetry workshop with Lesley Saunders, part of Art in the Dark Months 2015

Poetry workshop with Lesley Saunders, part of Art in the Dark Months 2015

Thursday 8 October is National Poetry Day and the Museum is in the middle of its own 'poetry-fest'!

Poetic responses to paintings will be at the heart of our next exhibition, A Sense of Place, which features great twentieth century landscape paintings from our collection. Well-known poets including Philip Gross, Declan Ryan and Susan Uttings have already written poems which will be in the gallery to be read in front of the paintings that inspired them.

In January 2016 prize-winning poet Lesley Saunders will be running poetry workshops at the Museum using the evocative landscape paintings in the Sense of Place exhibition for inspiration. Why not join her? - and look out for more creative activities for adults during Art in the Dark Months 2016.

Lesley also ran poetry workshops during 2015's Art in the Dark Months season. The theme was Art and Nature, with participants looking for inspiration in the early twentieth century woodcuts of Allen W. Seaby then being shown at the Museum. We are pleased to publish here poems created during these workshops, accompanied by some of the prints. There are three pages - please use the numbers at the bottom of the page to move to the next group of poems.

Farewell to Seaby: Poems from the Art and Nature workshops

All poems are copyright the poets

AlbatrossAlbatross by Allen W. Seaby

Far-flying, far-seeing,


the great span

harnessing air.

A sudden folding

to torpedo depths.

The raising of a creature

to a different element.

Distance shrinks

in his weightlessness

yet he’s burdened

with mystery and myth.

Gill Learner

Specimen PaintingGoldfinches by Allen W. Seaby

I see you there, fine goldfinch,
Your multi-coloured glory
Delineated by the artist for my education.
You do not fly away as I stand gazing
Inches apart,
Studying, mentally dissecting,
Filing away the heraldry you wear
Like jockey colours.
Oh, I should know you again,
But I would not know where to look;
The artist did not tell me where you live,
In what latitude you may be found:
It will be a chance encounter.
But, oh, I should know you anywhere.

Norman Lindsey

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Date updated: 20 Jan 2016

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