c.Johannes Hjorth

Jade Cuttle – The Poetry of Trees

Apprentice Poet in Residence Jade Cuttle tells us why she is leading a workshop on listening to trees.

I’ve always been really inspired by the humble-hearted wisdom and resilience of trees, so I’m looking forward to finding some writers who’d like to muse and marvel at these magnificent creatures with me.

They can do fascinating things like self-amputate, self-combust or even commit suicide to save themselves from shrivelling up. In this way, my Poetry of Trees Writing Workshop aims to give a glimpse into some of their breath-taking capabilities, working through a series of creative writing exercises that focus on metaphor and personification as a means to making sense of the natural world.

I’m hoping we’ll be able to acquire a stash of stethoscopes for this session to turn speculation into scientific investigation – sort of – in the sense of stepping into the shoes of a scientist engaging in the synthesis of symbolic poetic moments, stethoscope in hand, actively exploring the fascinating links between trees and humans in the local woodland.

This is because if you stethoscope a tree – on a warm enough day, that is – you should be able to hear the hum of its heartbeat shivering down each sinewy spine, the tangle and turn of its watery threads – I’m hoping we’ll hear each snap and snarl. It’s not quite autumn yet, but I’ve already started to ponder from the perspective of a tree who’s lost its leaves, stripped back to bare bone, haunted by the memory of warmth like a person may be towards a past lover…  I don’t think I’ve ever written a song or a poem where reflection on their beauty hasn’t crept in, and am looking forward to seeing the exciting ideas people come up with during the workshop.

The Poetry of Trees: Writing Workshop with Jade Cuttle
Saturday 7 October, 2pm, Manor house Education Room, £8
Click here for more information.

Twitter: @jadecuttle

Image c.Johannes Hjorth