somewhere in middle england

While many other people were busy celebrating ‘the wedding of the year’, I took a day off in Nottingham and revisited places that haven’t changed for centuries, although the areas around them have altered so much in 30 years that I had difficulty identifying any connection with the time I spent here in the Seventies.

At the castle I found this stone as part of a large display of inlaid decorated paving in the gallery forecourt:

nottingham castle paving stone

The text read:

The souls deep sediment churned currents of quickened memory erodes the densest barriers if its truth flows free

I can’t find any information about the words, (and the relevant links on the Stone Scribe Studios site don’t work) so I am left to wonder why someone would go to immense effort to create a piece of art using a text that cannot be parsed.

Some of the other phrases made some kind of sense – at least grammatically – if you took a pivot word and used it to end one part and start the next, adding in your own punctuation, but with this particular piece I just can’t begin to fathom the meaning.

I really rather like ‘poetry pavements’ – I’m particularly familiar with the phrases embedded in the streets of Chepstow and literary quotations in the pedestrianised barrio de las letras in Madrid – but both those projects seem to have a solid base in reason.

If anyone can enlighten me about the Nottingham Castle project, I’d be interested in knowing what was behind it.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

4 thoughts on “somewhere in middle england”

  1. i congratulate you for not wasting time on the wedding coverage :)
    i am not jealous of royal family but i don’t appreciate the extra importance being given to them.

    Ain’t we all equal? well, the answer is certainly No.

    Though i am unaware of English history and don’t know about castles and such stuff there,
    I would like to share, what i perceived from the lines; you mentioned above :

    if soul is strong and it’s true volition is allowed to take decisions, it will bypass all hurdles; in the way.

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    1. It was hard to avoid ‘the wedding’ completely, but I kept away from most of it except for watching the red, white and blue fireworks from my hotel bedroom.

      I think you’re probably right about the intention of the quotation. But it still bothers me that someone should put such enormous effort into producing a work of art that makes pedants like me spend time quibbling grammar and punctuation rather than admiring the art or the sentiment.

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  2. Fireworks are always unavoidable :)

    and umm
    i think that in past, people wrote such type of inscriptions to add mystery to the place.
    Moreover such inscriptions increase the curiosity of the visitor and hence they pay more attention to the art even if they are paying more attention to the Quotation.

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    1. I still prefer something like the poetry bands set in the pavement at Chepstow where each phrase has some reference or association to the adjacent shop. Somewhere among my many piles of paper I think I have a nicely produced leaflet explaining the Chepstow project; perhaps there was one for the work at Nottingham castle when it was carried out.

      Perhaps I’ve just become too comfortable with the idea of being able to access information on-line. I should have investigated while I was there, but didn’t find anyone to ask immediately and then got too distracted by the exhibition that was on inside.

      So, yes, it has ‘added mystery to the place’, though not, perhaps, in a good way!!

      Like

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