Imagine a place where words are brightened, enhanced, clarified. Normally poets and rhyme lovers would be gathering now for StAnza, Scotland’s poetry festival. Instead here’s a project to celebrate the oncoming season with hopeful metaphors to adorn your home – StAnza bookart: Shades of Spring.
- Curious eyes
- A pencil
- Some paper for notes
- Thicker paper to cut into shapes
- Hole punch or awl
- Needle, if your holes are small
- String/wool/thread (I’ve used Iona Wool)
- Coloured pencils, or pens or crayons
- A good pen for writing, or a printer
- What comes to mind when you think of Spring? Jot down ten things: Objects, sightings, habits, flora, fauna, weather…
2. Now come up with a kenning* for for each of your ten words.
*A kenning is a two-word phrase to describe a one-word noun. For example a wave-traveller could be a sailor. This stylistic device derives from Old Norse and Anglo Saxon literature. Strictly speaking, not all my words are nouns, but I’m letting poetic license over-ride that detail….
3. Create ten flags/pennants by drawing the shape on the thicker paper. If you’d prefer them to be all the same shape and size, then use the first one as a template for the rest. I’ve made irregular petal or boat shapes.
4. Add your ten kennings, one on each flag, in your best handwriting or printed text. Then cut them out.
5. Incorporate the colour you have described, as a paint swatch, a border, a drawing or all-over wash. I couldn’t choose one shade, so picked three that best represented the words.
6. Then, if you like, write the original words on the other side of the flag.
7. Make two holes on each flag, using the awl or a needle. Mind your fingers!
8. Thread your string through the holes, in the order you wish them to hang.
9. Tie a loop at each end of the thread and hang your ode to Spring in a place where it can be seen.
StAnza Poetry Festival runs 6th – 14th March 2021, with many events available online.