Lowther Castle: ‘Beneath The Boughs’

Beneath The Boughs poetry installation, Lowther Castle, Cumbria

Beneath The Boughs: photo by Katie Johnston

Beneath The Boughs is an exhibition of new poetry, running at Lowther Castle & Gardens, Cumbria, from July 19th – September 9th 2013.

The ruined gardens at Lowther are really unique. They lie in the grounds of a ruined castle, in an idyllic pastoral landscape unchanged for hundreds of years. Around every corner is something to discover, whether that’s a tree swing, a wooden summerhouse, or a stunning view across the valley. And now, there’s something extra to add to the list of discoveries: poetry.

The installation features poets from Bampton to Singapore, all with different takes on the themes suggested by the Castle Gardens. We collected the poems over the course of five months. Some submissions we used, others we didn’t. I think it’s pretty safe to say that those we chose are all very well suited to the installation in different ways. In displaying the poems, we have tried to bring out some element of the work that we felt best fit in with their tone, their surroundings, and what the poems were trying to achieve.

If you wish you had been in time to submit something of your own, then don’t worry. The installation also features an interactive element, so you can write away to your heart’s content. And don’t forget to make that wish in our wishing well!

More photos and features to follow throughout the summer.

Click here for more on Beneath The Boughs.

Beneath The Boughs, Lowther Castle & Gardens, Cumbria

Beneath The Boughs: photo by Katie Johnston

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LEISURE, by William Henry Davies

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


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