Thursday, 1 January 2009

"Cartography" a poem by Ted Slade

In 1999 I submitted some images for a project called "One Heart, One World" which was to be a collaboration between visual artists and poets.
I was pleased to hear that the selection panel (which included the then poet laureate Andrew Motion) had chosen me to be involved.

When I was eventually sent the poem written by poet Ted Slade, I was really pleased and relieved. Because I could "connect" to his (Teds) words and feelings.

The "One Heart, One World"exhibition opened at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 5 April 2000. Subsequently, the exhibition was shown in Sao Paulo (Brazil), Paris (France), Hanoi (Vietnam), Sydney (Australia) and Tokyo (Japan), ending its long run with a nation-wide tour of Japan.

The "One Heart, One World" exhibition consists of a compilation of 100 poems and 100 works of art. The poems were written by people with disabilities - Ted had a chronic long term health condition which I never found out the name of. Thee was not time for such things as we were always too busy talking about arts related matters. Anyway the idea of One Heart One World, was to have artists express their feelings, desires and hopes as well as the obstacles they had to overcome in their daily lives. Now I myself, as a disabled person know about this even more so!!

Each artwork corresponds to one of the poems and was created by individuals active in a variety of fields who share in the goals and aspirations of this exhibition.

This collaboration of poems and artwork was born out of a public goodwill campaign and the desire and work of the Japanese public broadcaster NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) towards realizing a state of normalization within society, a situation in which all individuals, with or without so-called disabilities, can live freely without impediment.
Here's a link to NHK for your information and enlightenment (!!) but seriously - they have lessons for English speakers who wish to learn how to speak Japanese.


At least now we know

the map has no edge,

just a pause between pages

or a short hop

to the next volume.

But we haven’t lost the dragons,

the headless men

with eyes in the chest,

the sea serpents

or the great maelstrom

waiting to swallow us up.

Wherever your centre

these monsters lurk

at the dark margins,

and in your heart.

Here is a link to the Poetry Kit website which Ted founded. It includes all things relating to contemporary poetry from a UK perspective and further poetry by Ted Slade, who sadly died in 2004.


  1. Hi !
    A wee note to say I've now added a PDF file you can down load from my Paper Boats Blog!
    Here you'll find info suggestions about paper boat size, papers to use and where to send them! There's been lots of interest already, and many are itching to set sail before launch day!!!!! I couldn't find an e-mail address to let you know, so I'm making contact via blog comments!!
    Best wishes
    Joanne B Kaar

  2. I enjoyed your art piece and the poem very exquisitely well matched..


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