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Untold Stories: Poetry at English Heritage

Untold Stories – Poetry at English Heritage took place in the autumn of 2020. Through new commissions, a poetry exchange and a public competition the programme allowed us to experience English Heritage sites in new ways and offered opportunities for everyone to explore our past through poetry. The programme was co-curated by Jacob Sam-La Rose, English Heritage’s Poet in Residence. This digital anthology brings together a collection of works written as part of the programme. It features poems written in Shout Out Loud workshops led by Malika Booker; as part of the Untold Stories Poetry Competition; and by commissioned poets Esme Allman, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Jay Bernard, Malika Booker, Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa and Jacob Sam-La Rose. english-heritage.org.uk/untold-stories

Untold Stories – Poetry at English Heritage took place in the autumn of 2020. Through new commissions, a poetry exchange and a public competition the programme allowed us to experience English Heritage sites in new ways and offered opportunities for everyone to explore our past through poetry. The programme was co-curated by Jacob Sam-La Rose, English Heritage’s Poet in Residence.

This digital anthology brings together a collection of works written as part of the programme. It features poems written in Shout Out Loud workshops led by Malika Booker; as part of the Untold Stories Poetry Competition; and by commissioned poets Esme Allman, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Jay Bernard, Malika Booker, Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa and Jacob Sam-La Rose.

english-heritage.org.uk/untold-stories

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inspired by: Tintagel Castle<br />

Ghazal: Song Of The Sea<br />

hannah burrows<br />

Castles sit like nesting dolls<br />

cast in thick grey mortar;<br />

All is myth and all is found<br />

bene<strong>at</strong>h the seething w<strong>at</strong>er<br />

History lives inside itself;<br />

ripples through concentric walls<br />

rubbed anonymous by grit<br />

and w<strong>at</strong>er<br />

Here we make our stand,<br />

but words of beauty flee from me<br />

like fingers run from w<strong>at</strong>er<br />

An utterance is made in the mouth of a cave<br />

A cliff sheds its skin like a secret<br />

to the w<strong>at</strong>er<br />

An unnamed storm lashes like a curled tongue,<br />

in a spellsong of an<strong>at</strong>omy, a wave<br />

fickle as w<strong>at</strong>er<br />

She can only think of wh<strong>at</strong> is left to save;<br />

The space between his self and lust overflows<br />

with w<strong>at</strong>er<br />

A body expands to fill its stolen space<br />

No voice can break the hush<br />

of hidden skins trapped underw<strong>at</strong>er<br />

Histories pass: two bodies build a bridge<br />

towards each other;<br />

Four stone arms stretched over halves<br />

left torn apart by w<strong>at</strong>er<br />

A tower lay here once, a sleeping stone,<br />

a pillar of salt<br />

Crumbled, changed, forgotten, rebuilt<br />

in a decade’s blink of w<strong>at</strong>er<br />

Truth is a fickle thing to burrow through<br />

But here, see it carve out stories<br />

with the relentless gasp of w<strong>at</strong>er.<br />

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