I visited Cherryburn last weekend. Its the birthplace of Thomas Bewick who is regarded as one of Britain’s greatest wood engravers. I wonder how well known he is outside the UK. Answers please not on a postcard but here on the comments! I wrote this poem, partly in my car, after walking in the woods.
After Visiting Thomas Bewick’s Birthplace.
Here, the chainsaw carver’s used the stump
of a beech to carve a bat.
Bewick used boxwood to chisel
his woodblocks – then
his pressman pressed
damp paper again and again
onto his blacked birds and beasts.
I walk further into the wood
and see one hand beckoning
and one hand offering.
I sit in the palm
of the offering hand and wonder
at the patience of trees
and Bewick’s meticulous chiselling.