March 21st every year is World Poetry Day, organised by UNESCO to celebrate this form of expression and cultural art. I love poetry, but I confess I don’t often indulge and seek out new poems to read in the same way I do books, so having this day is a great excuse to take some time to appreciate poetry.
This year Viking got in touch to ask if I wanted to do a little collaboration with them to celebrate World Poetry Day. The chance to play with pretty stationery and create something? Of course I said yes!
I was over the moon when this lovely little package arrived, and I couldn’t wait to get going on prettying up the little canvas. I have to confess, I had no idea Viking did such beautiful things or craft supplies – I thought it was firmly office type stationery. Not that there is anything wrong with that … as a child I used to love it when the Viking catalogue arrived and I could choose colourful new file folders or even just stacks of pristine notepads for my ramblings. Coloured pens were a necessity for efficiency and productiveness, or so I managed to convince my Dad, who very kindly added my latest desires to his office purchases occasionally. Please tell me I am not the only kid who was a stationery nerd from a young age?
Once I got down to thinking about what I would create, I had a problem – what poem to choose? I have so many favourites, but they are mostly very long and I couldn’t really think of how to do them justice in just a single phrase.
It was while scrolling Pinterest for nursery inspiration that I came across a lovely little quote about babies, and I realised this would be the perfect plan for my canvas – something for the nursery. Of course, then I wanted to see what other poems about babies were out there, cue me spending several hours reading some really beautiful poetry about babies and childhood, and because I’m all over-emotional at the moment quite a few tissues might have been involved! Eventually, mindful of the size of the canvas and my calligraphy ability (zero!) I picked one I really liked and started practising.
It took quite a few goes, but I think I am quite happy with what eventually I got on to the canvas. I hadn’t really anticipated how difficult it would be to write with a quill on canvas because it is so bobbly, so this took me a really long time as I had to go super slow so the nib didn’t catch! I had all these plans to pretty-up the canvas once I was done with the writing, but the truth is, after all the effort the writing took, I couldn’t bear the thought I might ruin it by messing up the decoration! And actually, I think it looks pretty lovely as is, don’t you?
It’s an extract from a poem by Eda LeShan, an American writer who focused on the voice of the child and wrote several books on childhood. She has even been hailed the ‘Ombudsman of the Child’.
Thank you so much to Viking for encouraging me to take a bit of time out of my slightly crazy life right now to appreciate the beauty of poetry, and to indulge in my love of creating things.
Anyone have a favourite poem they want to share? I’d love to read more! And who else is in love with those little baby shoes?!