Sunday, July 05, 2009
What does this tell us?
Four years ago, when I first started this anthology of Megalithic Poems, a colleague warned that I'd be hard pressed to find even half a dozen on the theme of the megalithic structures and prehistoric sites of Britain, Ireland and the European continent. Three years on and there are now more than 200 poems here and an equal number of drawings, paintings, prints or photographs to accompany them.
The poems stretch over a period of some eight hundred years; from Laymon's poem, Brut, of 1215 describing Stonehenge (see the September 2005 archive) to poems written only a few months ago. What does this tell us? Well, perhaps that not only have these structures inspired poets like Blake and Wordsworth (as well as artists such as Constable and Turner) down through the ages but also that this marvellous, mysterious megalithic heritage of ours continues to inspire us even today.
At a time when so much of our heritage is at risk through development and mismanagement (Tara in Ireland for example, even Stonehenge and Avebury) perhaps these poems, and the images that accompany them, will continue to inspire those who would take time out from busy lives to visit and ponder upon this often overlooked aspect of our heritage. Not only that, hopefully this anthology will also act as a warning that these places, built by our forefathers millennia ago, are in constant need of our care and attention lest, after thousands of years having, "...brav'd the continual assaults of weather..." they are finally lost for all time through the greed, ignorance and insensitivity of the 21st century.
I hope you will find as much pleasure reading this anthology as I have taken in compiling it. Please click on the links above for further information on things megalithic, as well as websites with more pictures, musings and up-to-date news from some of the organizations dedicated to protecting our prehistoric heritage.