This poem ‘Aspis’, was written for the recent Live/Beò Festival undertaken by young people as part of the YOYP 2018. As part of our festival activity at Inverewe Gardens on 16th August 2018 we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to plant an aspen tree as an ongoing reminder of our contribution to youth art and culture.
In this poem I wanted to look at the history of the aspen tree in symbology as well as what it would mean to us young people/ planters as a symbol to return to, and remember. Discovering the aspen’s ties to communication and the connection between disparate worlds made clear the aspen tree was the perfect choice as a symbol of youth arts and culture, bridging the gap between ‘their world’, that we have grown up in, and our world, or the one we hope to create with cultural celebrations such as these. The poem asks the aspen, ‘do you remember us?’ throughout, harking back to our shared history with the tree through different generations and cultures, in order to ask today’s young people, how we want to be remembered – perhaps simply as communicators, cultural celebrators and friends of nature.