Pots are Poems Written in Clay

‘Pots are poems written in clay.’ It sounds like a slogan for potters wanting to claim their place as movers and shakers in the temple of high culture. Either that or a nifty way of claiming £10 from Private Eye’s Pseuds Corner column. Anyway, I have to admit to liking it as a form of words. Also, I’m wondering if thinking of pots as poems might be interesting.

It seems to me that poetry and pottery are both, in their separate ways, craft skills (and poets are part of the fraternity of artist-craftsmen.) There is something about picking up a well made pot. It just feels good. Never mind all the technicalities, your hands tell you that this is a pleasure to have and to hold and to use for whatever purpose it was intended for. Your hands tell you that the hands of the potter took pleasure in the making of the object you are holding and that that pleasure is now gifted to you.

It seems to me that in some way that is not so very different from poetry. That said, I have to admit that I know more about the making of pots than I do the making of poems. Nonetheless, I read poetry. I do know about the pleasures of picking one up, reading it, turning it over in my mind, using it and discovering some kind of connection with the artist-craftsperson who made it.

So, are pots poems written in clay? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way it sounds catchy, so I think I’ll trot it out as a slogan next time I need one. x