Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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by Helen Boden

In the church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea,
two pictorial windows: fishing scene, South;
North, angelic hosts instrumental -
iconography customised; and conventional.

This doesn’t overwhelm with style and scale -
what’s gained here through stained glass
is a clarity that knowledge of theology
or the history of art can start to obscure.

I’m less moved than expected by
craftsmanship depicting local custom,
more affected by how these angels,
undistinguished of their kind,

make lucid an over-familiar aesthetic,
one that made me crave vernacular
bespoke for the island culture
I’d been more minded to embrace.

Northwords Now acknowledges the vital support of Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
ISSN 1750-7928 - Print Design by Gustaf Eriksson - Website by Plexus Media