Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Bridge

A lone figure stands at the quayside, 
determined, thoughtful, eyes fixed on
the jutting limb beyond.

To sepia-tinted Salford, 
shrouded by the insidious fog
drifting under the bridge, 
mingling with the smoke from the 
‘Mersey Flat’ thrumming gently by, 
and masking its shape.

Valette concentrates his gaze, 
willing another artist to inhabit
this scene, to note his posture.

A matchstick man in a grim,
industrial landscape, projecting
his own vivid impressions,
sending waves of visions, into
Lowry’s mind, creating a canvas,
painting a pictorial prelude.

© Marilyn Brindley

The image is 'Under Windsor Bridge, on the Irwell, Manchester' by the pioneer impressionist painter Adolphe Valette (1876-1942), housed in the Manchester City Art Gallery. The view over the Irwell is to Salford, famous for the industrial landscapes of L.S. Lowry (1887-1976). The 'matchstick man' in the painting pre-figures those of Lowry, whom he tutored, and I imagined it as Valette himself, somehow projecting himself  into the mind of Lowry. A 'bridge' of a different kind.

Read, 'Exhibition for Monet of Manchester who inspired Lowry'.

Thanks to Tess at The Mag for the pictorial prompt and Bren at The Sunday Whirl for helping to make the challenge more interesting.


  1. You've woven this one so well, and it gets better with each reading.

  2. Hello Marilyn:
    This is such a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric poem, beautifully illustrated, which becomes not only a homage in part to Lowry and his art, but also to the town of Salford.

  3. "Sepia-tinted Salford" is just beautiful...I like how you tied the history and geography into this piece...very nice...

  4. Love the thrumming gently by...

  5. ha i like it as a prelude....as if something was to come, he just set the scene...matchstick man....that is a good characterizing descriptor for this guy....def makes me wonder a bit at what is next....

  6. oh you have woven this poem so well with facts and image - beautifully written

  7. This is simply wonderful. I love the bit of history you've provided as well.

  8. You've interpreted the piece beautifully with the wordle words and your own inspiration. Wow! Strong write...thanks for writing for The Whirl.

  9. How clever to unearth this other bridge behind the canvas...

  10. You've captured the raw edge and soft imagery of the painting so cleverly through your words, Little Nell. I love the "Sepia-tinted Salford" too. Thanks for sharing this and the connect to Lowry. Evocative. =D

  11. You infused this poem with 'everything Valette' ~~ very nice.

  12. I never pass up a good thrum... especially one so well written. Thanks for sharing this, Nell!

  13. Excellent write for both prompts! Such vivid imagery all through this.

  14. A really interesting take on this. Thanks.


  15. Great write Little Nell! You cleverly blend the poem with the artist and that of Lowry. Providing the history is educational. Thanks for sharing!


  16. Amazing how your words (sing like a melody) and express a sense of place and being, as if I were just sitting behind him, watching, taking in the scents and feeling the fog. For me so many words and places just stand up like at attenion. Like, the Mersey Flat! Very interesting, and a beautiful poem!

  17. You get inside the mind of the painter so well. And the combination of the powerful image and your words lets me almost taste the scene.

  18. Reminds me of a Dion Fortune novel , where the priestess and the uptight doctor are wandering around london in the fog, just cant think of its name , thanks

  19. Lovely, Nell. I hadn't seen this painting before, and I enjoyed your interpretation.

    Kathy M.

  20. This poem would paint a perfect picture with no prompt to focus on! I enjoyed the incorporated info!

  21. Impressive piece of magical writing!

  22. You used your pen as a paintbrush....an artist waiting for an artist to paint him...how interesting. Love this!