The Snow Stone on Pule Hill Marsden
The Stanza Stones Walk: An Alternative devised by Mick Melvin.
A fifty mile upland walk from Marsden to Ilkley visiting the six Stanza Stones carved with poems written by Simon Armitage.
Why create an alternative walk?
I have created this walk as an alternative to the 47 mile trail created by the team working with the Ilkley Literature Festival, not because it is my intention to denigrate the walk which was produced by the team. Far from it, the trail which they created is a fine outing and one that will satisfy the desires of most people wishing to visit the Stanza Stones.
My purpose was to devise an upland walk linking the stones which did not stick to recognised footpaths or to existing well-known walking trails. This has not always been possible, since I felt that it was necessary to follow the Pennine way or Millennium Way on occasions, in order to visit significant places of interest i.e. Blackstone Edge.
In addition I believe that considering the walk was motivated by literature, it should visit the places that inspired some of the area’s finest writers, Haworth and Mytholmroyd. My objective is to create six more circular walks to each of the stones which will be suitable for a day’s walking. These walks will be posted on the site as I complete them.
The seven Stanza Stones, each carved with a poem written by the poet Simon Armitage, are at locations which in general follow the Pennine watershed. The Stanza Stones project, which started at Ilkley Festival in August 2010, is focused on poems specially written by Simon stirred by his response to the Pennine Watershed and the relationship between the landscape and language of Yorkshire. The seven stones will form a permanent moorland trail across the watershed from Ilkley to Marsden the home town of the poet.
The Stanza Stones poems are reproduced here by kind permission of Simon Armitage.
The sky has delivered its blank missive. The moor in coma. Snow, like water asleep, a coded muteness to baffle all noise, to stall movement, still time.
What can it mean that colourless water can dream such depth of white? We should make the most of the light. Stars snag on its crystal points. The odd, unnatural pheasant struts and slides. Snow, snow, snow is how the snow speaks, is how its clean page reads.
Then it wakes, and thaws, and weeps.
©Simon Armitage 2010
Link to Simon Armitage's Web Site
Download The Short Walk to the Snow Stone