Work by Mary Webster :: Poem by Gerda Stevenson
Maggie’s Centre, Edinburgh, Tells of Its Conception and Growth
Maggie Keswick Jencks, born Dumfriesshire, 1941, died of breast cancer, London, 1995; writer, artist, garden designer and co-founder of Maggie’s Centres – drop-in centres offering free support to anyone diagnosed with cancer. The first Maggie’s Centre opened in Edinburgh in 1996; many have since been built across the UK and abroad, designed by the world’s great architects and located adjacent to hospitals.
From Quines by Gerda Stevenson
I chose this poem because of a family connection to Maggie’s in Edinburgh: they were very kind to my daughter and grandchildren.
I then highlighted a few of the lines in Gerda’s poem that I found comforting: “I’m here, for anyone who needs me”, “gentle harbour; ” and “filters light through tranquil fields of glass; and when bare stalks conceal all signs of Spring, our curves will hold you close.”
I decided after the last line to concentrate on the architecture of Maggie’s Centres round Scotland and took the idea from the many different shapes of the windows looking out onto gardens however small. The feeling I got was to be positive in very difficult circumstances.
After doing a bit of research I also found there was also a connection to my daughter’s surgeon and the beginning of the Maggie’s Centres so it seemed just right to concentrate on this poem.
I hope this will explain the reason I chose Gerda’s poem I am in awe of anyone who can sit and write such diverse and beautiful poems.