A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
‘Imagine going down into the dirt to find a word that you’re going to elevate up into poetry. That’s mining for me.’
The Scottish poet Robert Fullerton is a former shipyard welder who was an apprentice when he found his love of books thanks to his mentor. Drawing inspiration from the sparks that he imagines as ‘wee thoughts, or wee possibilities, or wee ideas’, Fullerton began crafting poems while working at the shipyard, finding his dark, solitary days provided the ‘perfect thinking laboratory’ for mining words. Like its subject, Mining Poems or Odes finds beauty in language and in the docks of Glasgow, combining Fullerton’s thoughts on mining and lyrical readings of his poetry with scenes from the Govan shipyard’s distinctly working-class milieu. This celebrated short documentary by the Scottish filmmaker Callum Rice played at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and won a BAFTA Scotland award for best short in 2015.
This film was produced by the Scottish Documentary Institute, an Aeon partner. The text above is quoted from the Aeon website.
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Scottish poet Robert Fullerton mimicking his mentor in the Glascow shipyard where they worked as welders.