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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: Stott Park Bobbin Mill<br />

29th November 1849<br />

h L truslove<br />

I’ve been walking for a while now.<br />

My two feet have turned to blocks of thick heavy ice<br />

And I can’t feel my toes except for as tiny knives th<strong>at</strong><br />

stab on every step<br />

And I’ve been walking for a while now.<br />

It’s nice out in the Fells on other days.<br />

You can stand on a hill<br />

And look out over the fields and rocks<br />

And feel like you’re <strong>at</strong> the highest point in the world.<br />

Out there the fresh air can clear the sawdust from<br />

your lungs<br />

And the wood sores on your hands don’t m<strong>at</strong>ter<br />

When you’re not walking.<br />

Me and the other lads left for a wander one day<br />

When the w<strong>at</strong>erwheel broke down in the mill<br />

And all the machines were left in dead silence<br />

Not to drown out our ch<strong>at</strong>ter any more.<br />

We laid in the grass<br />

And we looked <strong>at</strong> the clouds trotting through the sky<br />

And we skimmed stones across the pond<br />

And when they stopped skipping<br />

Our heavy laughter sank with them into the depths.<br />

I was exhausted after th<strong>at</strong> day but it was in a good<br />

way.<br />

The kind of exhausted where your bones are aching<br />

but your soul is light.<br />

I think my legs are too cold to feel pain now.<br />

29

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