Signwriter shares positive power of poetry during Coronavirus crisis

A secret sign writer has harnessed the power of poetry to help raise the public’s spirits during the Coronavirus crisis.

Thursday, 16th April 2020, 11:45 am
The poem handwritten on slate

Those walking or cycling along a local country lane at Knowle Green, near Longridge, may have been surprised to see an unusual sign propped up near a local crossroads.

Placed carefully so as not to distract motorists it carried the words of a poem from Benedictus: A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue.

The poem has been carefully written on a piece of slate. and opens with the lines:

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“This is the time to be slow,

Lie low to the wall,

Until the bitter weather passes.”

The sign creator who wishes to remain anonymous said: “Somebody sent me the poem. I just thought it was so beautiful and so apt and I looked it up. I just thought it might speak to people.”

She also had some wild flower plants for distribution at the local Longridge Earth Day, which was cancelled due to Coronavirus, so decided to plant her red campion plants near the sign. She said: “We need to reclaim some of these little crossroads and corners.”

It is not the first time the anonymous artist has created signs for the local landscape. This one was written using silver felt tip on a piece of slate, while others have been painted on wood, including one alerting people to the Bowland AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and one urging the public to put away their phones and enjoy a local beauty spot.

She added that she hoped the poem would help raise people’s spirits: “I just think they might just feel a little bit uplifted. Lots of people are walking and cycling ... it’s for them to come across, something a little bit different."