Visiting Thomas Bewick’s Birthplace

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.