Rufus Mufasa
18 August 2023

Nation of Sanctuary – How art can inspire poetry?

Rufus Mufasa

18 August 2023 | Minute read

Ever wondered how a poet starts to think about what they are going to write, and how they might start? Go on a creative journey with Rufus Mufasa and find out how she was inspired by Daniel Trivedy’s Welsh Emergency Blankets and what she wrote in response to the work.

Daniel Trivedy - Welsh Emergency Blankets

I remember seeing this work at the National Eisteddfod 2019 & it blew me away, both the beauty & the concept behind the art asking deep questions about contemporary moral issues. I started by finding Daniel Trivedy's website & other articles online, reading, making notes, & mind mapping words & thoughts of relevance, about the art & the feelings it stirred.

nostalgia - blankets at Nanna's - warmth - always on hand - loyal - lost - childhood - passing down through matriarchal lines - memory - conversation - identity - geography - comfort - global perspective - subtext - heritage - here - there - national - global - guilt - guts - language - clash - collide - resurrect - pride - exhaustion - fusion - fragility - tapestries - tongue - territory - tactility - rescue - reimagining - roots - sanctuary - safety - consequence - persecution - provocation - trauma - response - sharing - offering - duty - care - Calais - camps - culture - community - corruption - Wales - sanctuary...

Then I just started writing, one sentence at a time until I did four. Then just like that, you've got four lines - a verse/stanza - the heart and story unfolding from verse to verse to verse, building blocks made of language - then return with fresh eyes to edit. I promise, start with words, take it sentence at a time, you know the answers, trust yourself & the pen.

Nation of Sanctuary

We are ready to welcome you           
to give you all we've got           
culture - languages - talk your mother tongue           
& I will perfect the lullabies of loved ones.

Come let's start by getting you warm          
this is from my mam's mam          
barróg, dóibh siúd go léir a bhí le teacht          
a hug, to all those who were to come.

I found a new hack for rarebit - using sourcrout          
start on that before your cawl          
then tea full of honey          
@ this micro-macro intersection.

Please take this cwtch          
then list everything you need          
to feel          

Feeling inspired? Why not take a look for an image in the collection that sparks something in you and write about it, it can be a piece of poetry, spoken word, or even turn it into a song.

We would love to hear your efforts – share them with us by e-mailing them to sean.kenny@museumwales.ac.uk 

© Daniel Trivedy/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales


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