Sunday, 16 October 2016


at Little Sparta, September, photograph by Iain Morrison

"I imagine the sheepfold as standing in the meadow grass,
but it might be necessary to add a slab or slabs at the gate,
and even forming a sort of path near the wall, inside. (On
a wet day it does not take long for the grass to be tramped
into mud.) These slabs could be of selected, very flat 'wild'
stones, or possibly riven slate, like the stones which bear
the lettering. If there is a slab or slabs at the gate, we might
use others to form a sort of pastoral approach-path. (Anything
which dovetails in an added artifact is helpful. Nothing looks
worse than an added object abandoned in isolation in a natural
setting. Trees or bushes judiciously placed could be beautiful too."

Ian Hamilton Finlay to Thomas A Clark, January 1998

In 1973, I made a small card placed in an envelope, with
the words "folding the last sheep", the title of an etching
by Samuel Palmer. When the card was taken out of its
envelope and unfolded, it could stand up in the shape of
a sheep fold. It was intended as a modest elegy for the whole
pastoral tradition.

Ian liked the card and pasted it into his scrapbook (the
ultimate sign of approval) and 25 years later had the idea
to actually build the sheepfold, for a garden festival in Germany
and for Little Sparta. It seems the slabs were not necessary !

With thanks to Sharing Little Sparta Residency Programme
2016. This year's residents were Sarah Rose, Peter Manson
and Thomas A Clark

Saturday, 3 September 2016

the grove of delight

the grove of delight
(doire sholais)

at Harewood House, Yorkshire
until October 2016


the earthly paradise

deep blue

Saturday, 20 August 2016

homage to Andrew Marvell

green shade

from The Grove of Delight
Harewood House, Yorkshire
until end of October

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Nietzsche's flag

"Try to live as if it was still morning" - Nietzsche

Harewood House, Yorkshire, August 2016

photographs by Diane Howse

Friday, 15 July 2016

Stendhal's Kite

"Beauty is a promise of happiness" - Stendhal

"In the particular case of promising, as with many other
performatives, it is appropriate that the person uttering
the promise should have a certain intention, viz. here
to keep his word." - J.L. Austin

Stendhal's Kite is published by The Thing Quarterly,
San Francisco.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Poor Poetry

a thin, inconspicuous poetry, persisting on the margins,
a neglected, threadbare, hedgerow school of poetry,
light and resourceful, a common or poor poetry

a poetry without glory, using plain diction, withdrawn
from ambition, lacking in rhetorical skill, a spare poetry,
not given by the culture but passed from hand to hand

Sunday, 3 July 2016

a place apart

a symposium on the poetry and practice
of Thomas A Clark

6th May 2016
Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh

with Peter Amoore, David Bellingham, Emily Brady,
David Farrier, Simone Kotva, Tom Jones, Lila Matsumoto,
Iain Morrison, Andrew Roberts, Alice Tarbuck, Harriet Tarlo
and Matthew Welton.

The conference was jointly organised by the
Centre for Poetic Innovation, University of Dundee
and the Scottish Poetry Library

Andrew Roberts, Simone Kotva, Emily Brady, Tom Jones,
Alice Tarbuck

David Bellingham, Thomas A Clark

Iain Morrison

Matthew Welton

Lila Matsumoto