In Memory of Water



I’m sure you’ll have noticed that things have gone a little silent on the ol’ blog of late. An unsightly combo of bad weather, too much work and wobbly thighs has resulted in me feeling really rather fed up and absolutely desperate for spring to rear her weary head. I’ve even thought, dare I say it, that an effective cure for my winter blues might be taking my nose out of my books for two seconds and taking a look around me and, by Jove, I think it might be working! Although the blog may have been sacrificed for the sake of my mood, a few country excursions, some antique-perusing and cinema-going have all transpired to make me feel a little more refreshed and cheery and ready to face the world again.

In 2010, northern wordsmith Simon Armitage embarked on a thrilling project in collaboration with the Ilkley Literature Festival. The project saw six original poems, centered around the theme of water, hewn into rock and cliff face in strategic locations throughout Lancashire and West Yorkshire. These poems, or ‘Stanza Stones’, form waymarks on a hike that takes you through some of the most wild and breathtaking scenery in this part of the world. Although I had stumbled across ‘Rain’ on one of our previous jaunts, whilst out climbing last weekend we accidentally discovered his poem ‘Snow’, carved into the most unlikely and unassuming piece of quarry and entirely obscured from passers-by on the road below. Most magically of all, despite the weak sunshine, as we contemplated the poem it did indeed begin to snow, and I began to see the great benefits of reading in a location other than my sofa and/or bed.



Along with such beauties as the Pennine and West Highland Way, the boyfriend and I have promised ourselves that we will partake in the Stanza Stone trail one sunny day this year, where I will endeavour to take photos of my very own to show you these inspired spots in detail. I couldn’t imagine anywhere more perfect to indulge in our combined passions for both the great outdoors and written word and a better way to clear my head and celebrate our damp countryside.



Or mizzle, as it tends to be up North, getting under my umbrella and playing havoc with my hair…



Although this wonderfully atmospheric photo is rather stormy, this fractured dream of dew leaves me rather hopeful for spending some time in the garden this summer **sigh**…



Yep…I’ve seen some of these lying around about the place this winter…



I know our feet are damp and our books dog-eared by all this rain but, should you be in this neck of the woods some time, visit at least one Stanza Stone and fall back in love with water again.

The Snow Stone, The Mist Stone, The Beck Stnaza Stone by Freddie Phillips via Flickr

rain detail18 by Pam Wright via Flickr

Dew Stone, Rivock Edge, North Yorkshire by Jeremy Weate via Flickr

3 thoughts on “In Memory of Water

  1. What a fascinating project! I’d be interested in seeking out the ones in West Yorkshire for sure (some of our best friends live in York). I would recommend Armitage’s travel-ish book, Walking Home, if you haven’t already read it.


    1. Thanks for the recommendation Rebecca…have just added it to my massive wishlist. I inevitably ended up reading some of Armitage’s poetry for my GCSEs but nothing bigger (yet!) Yorkshire is so so beautiful, and very deserving of the Tour de France this year I think 🙂


  2. Pingback: The Moor |

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