National Trust Full Bloom Renga Poem Celebrates Orchard Blossoms
Ancient Orchards Brought To Life With Full Bloom Spring Blossom Festival
A core activity of the festival will be the writing of a renga poem, a Japanese collaborative linked poetry form. The National Trust Full Bloom Renga is devised by artist Anne-Marie Cullhane and starts on Sunday the 24th of April at the Mother Orchard, Cotehele, near Saltash in Cornwall finishing with another live renga session on May 9th at Acorn Bank in Cumbria. The renga will follow the progress of the orchard blossoms as they spread from South to North over a two week period.
At the two live renga sessions visitors to the orchards will be invited to join poets beneath the blossoms on a specially created renga platform made by artist Jo Salter from reclaimed wood, and contribute verses to the growing poem. In the two weeks between the the live renga parties memvers of the public from around the world can contribute verses to the poem via the web which will be overseen by poets Alec Finlay, Martin Lucas and Sheila Windsor.
Kate Merry, National Trust Orchard Project Officer, explained that the aim was to get people to think about and appreciate England's orchards, the vast majority of which have been lost since the 1940s.
She continued: "The poem will celebrate the sights, sounds and smells of orchards in bloom"
Vistors to the orchards will also be invited to offer a 'verse to the wind' by writing orchard inspired haiku poems and hanging them on trees in the orchard.
As well as the renga poetry parties there will be many other activities including picnics under the trees, bug hunts, blossom walks and wildlife displays.
NowPublic will be present at, and report from, both live renga poetry sessions in the National Trust orchards as this producer, Paul Conneally, has been asked to act as master poet, leading poceedings, at both events. He will be joined by acclaimed guest host poets John Hall and Linda France at Cothele and Acorn Bank respectively.
The Naitonal Trust's 36-verse poem will track the country's orchards as they blossom from south to north in the coming weeks
The National Trust is celebrating the first year of the project with a "full bloom festival" starting on Sunday.