Hope 're-verses' vandal damage in Longridge

The poem Hope has been placed in slate in the centre of Longridge, to replace a piece smashed by vandals.

Sunday, 28th March 2021, 7:00 am

Last week The Post reported how slate being the poem Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye, was left in pieces and strewn around Towneley Gardens in Berry Lane.

>>>Read about the vandalism hereIt was one of around 30 dotted around the Longridge area by Clare Hyde from Knowle Green, who wanted to share the positive power of poetry during the coronavirus crisis.

Now, determined not to be beaten by vandals, she has chosen an extract from Hope by Emily Dickinson to write on reclaimed slate.

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The new stone in Towneley Gardens, Longridge

She said: “I replaced the slate because I know some people were upset about the other being broken, and I wanted to show that I wasn’t deterred by it.

“Quite a few have been broken or taken, but if that worried me unduly, I wouldn’t put them in a public space, would I?

“I chose an extract from the poem Hope by Emily Dickinson to replace it a) in case the perpetrator might read it, and b) because we all need hope at the moment and I love the image of hope as a bird.”

Clare, who is involved in environmental work, said she has always had a love for poetry and choses excerpts from her favourites, or from those that had struck her while watching television or reading the paper.

The first poem she put on display was from Benedictus: A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue. She positioned it carefully at a crossroads in Knowle Green.

She said: “I felt a bit silly about it at first, but then I saw people stopping and looking and it gives me great please to see people engaging with poetry.

“One person told me that after seeing some of the poems, they were inspired to go out and buy their first ever poetry book.

“I have enjoyed contributing during the last year with this.”

PCSO Will Hayes, based at Longridge Police Station said nothing has been phoned in about the vandalism and nothing shows on local CCTV.

He said: “we will remain vigilant going forwards.”