8 – Read a short story
16 – Visit somewhere beginning with your first initial and fulfil at least 2 of the tasks
20 – Visit a Museum
21 – Find a poem that means something to you
(Tasks 16 and 20) Visiting somewhere beginning with my first initial, I went to the Museum in Millennium Square.
‘FULFIL AT LEAST TWO OF THE TASKS’
One of the exhibitions was titled ‘The Leeds story’. This was a theme that ran throughout the Museum, exploring the story of Leeds’s history. Rather than read a story in the original sense, I found it much more interesting to engage with the story of Leeds through the exhibition.
While there, I came across a bronze statue by Ivan Mestrovic, of poet Dorothy Una Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe’s work is written mainly in traditional Yorkshire dialect.
After visiting the museum, I researched her work. Although I found them all quite difficult to understand, because of the Yorkshire dialect, I felt like they were more meaningful to me because I had learnt about Ratcliffe’s past at the Museum before I read them.
One poem I found, which I think I understand is titled ‘Shepherd Agnostic’:
I ALLUS hated goin’ to t’ kirk,
An’ preachin’ doant do owt
To help a man ‘at’s gone astray;
To sermons, I think nowt!
theer is ony Power aboon,
Whya tell it how to work
Like Bishop, Priest an’ Deacon do,
An’ Lay Reader an’ Clerk ?
But surely I believe in t’ Lord?
Happen I doant an’do….
Theer is a Force somewheer, I hod,
‘At acts baith square an’ true;
For when I’se been a-seekin’ sheep,
When snow lies deep in ghylls,
An’ sunleet spreads sich pinks an’ blues
Ower far-off Hamble Hills;
I’se felt ‘at theer wur summat—Ay—
Grander by far nor man;
An’, too, at neet, when I watch t’ stars
Revolvin’ to a plan.
But if it’s God ahint it all,
Yan thing’s as plain’s can be,
He wean’t be at t’ Parson’s call,
I wudn’t, if I wur He!
I think the poem is about a person who is questioning the idea of religion. He says that he feels as if there is a God, because of the order that he sees in nature, yet the idea of religion does not appeal to him, in terms of the hierarchy of the church, with Priests giving Sermons to ‘sheep’ (I assume he is referring to them blinding following).
I found this relatively meaningful to me, because I also do not believe in religion, because of the issues and conflict that it creates. The idea of following rules written in an ancient book does not appeal to me, especially since they constantly contradict, and often do not promote what I believe is most loving: for example certain religions views on Homosexuality.
I enjoyed trying to do as many tasks as possible in this one activity. It had to ‘think outside the box’, which helped me engage with each task a bit more; I enjoyed my visit to the Museum because I was making more of an effort to think about what was there.