Floating In an icy land Still. But my soul is troubled, Dead twigs snatching at my hair, a cloth, a funeral shroud Encasing my cold body. "
Inspired by Segantini's painting, Punishment and Lust (detail, above), these first lines of a poem by Year 10 pupil, Beth Tilston, admirably convey the depth of response and literary accomplishment to be enjoyed by anyone attending the celebration of a poetry and art project at Bishop Rawstorne Church of England High School, Preston, next Wednesday at 7.30pm.
Three weeks of workshops involving 10 to 16-year-olds from Bishop Rawstorne's and the nearby primary schools of St Michael's and Croston Methodist, led by poet-painter Adrian Henri and with the support of Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery, have culminated in a collection of poems. They invite the reader into the selected pictures and include the different viewpoints of onlooker, sitter or painter.
The benefits to the pupil go far beyond the project's relevance to the national curriculum in English and art. As one young participant put it, "I can now look at a poem or a painting and not just see it superficially but study it, understand it and enjoy it."