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Welcome to the Mary Evans Poetry blog, launched on National Poetry Day 2015, where we invite poets to send us poems inspired by images from our collection. We're also including a few existing poems, both old and new, matched with one of our images. The poems and pictures chosen so far are listed below.

We're very grateful to a local creative writing group, the Nevada Street Poets, and especially one of their members, Lorraine Mariner, without whose guidance and enthusiasm this idea would not have got off the ground. We're delighted that Lorraine will continue to be involved as co-editor of this blog, alongside our staff member Gill Stoker.

We hope you enjoy this addition to our website as much as we do. If you have any feedback, or would like to send us a poem inspired by one of our pictures, please contact Gill by email at

A london underground platform at Bank. The Northern line. 1930s     Date: early 1930s
The Northern Line by Valerie Morton

Published: 27th April 2017
Killruddery by Helen Harrison

Published: 20th April 2017
A group of children in a playground on a wet day, wondering how to get the swings untangled!  

early 1930s
Akin to déjà vu by Sharon Larkin

Published: 13th April 2017
Space traveller watches Earth receding. 

circa 1950
Without by E. E. Nobbs

Published: 7th April 2017
Businessman in suit and fedora carrying a briefcase, walking up a long flight of cement stairs. 

circa 1960s
Success by Di Slaney

Published: 31st March 2017
Delineation of Strata of England and Wales (1815) by William Smith.

Strata Smith by John Freeman

Published: 24th March 2017
Elevated view looking down onto the tracks leading south out of Waterloo Station and showing the surrounding townscape     Date: 1960 - 1972
London Bridge to Waterloo East by Robin Houghton

Published: 16th March 2017
Jeanne holding a Fan, by Camille Pissarro. 

Minette by Ken Evans

Published: 9th March 2017
A busy scene in the shopping  area of the Bull Ring complex,  Birmingham, England, in May 1966.   

The Bull Ring in the 60s by Sheila Jacob

Published: 2nd March 2017
Soviet propaganda poster: a Red Army officer, fearing civil disorder during a strike, asks the citizens to hand in their weapons.      Date: circa 1917
Marina Tsvetaeva Recommends that Lovers Kiss Goodbye by Dilys Wood

Published: 23rd February 2017
Man dressed In shirt, tie, waistcoat and apron, bent over a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes, cleaning a frying pan.  

Keeping House by Michael Bartholomew-Biggs

Published: 16th February 2017
Little girl hanging out the washing, watched by a dog. 

circa 1890
Joy by Jeni Braund

Published: 9th February 2017
Scene in a wood in winter. 

circa 1920
Silence of Järvenpää (i.m. Sibelius) by Katharine Towers

Published: 2nd February 2017
A mounted specimen of this carnivorous marsupial mammal, now probably extinct. Also known popularly as the Tasmanian Tiger.
Yarns by Stephanie Conn

Published: 26th January 2017
Sedum Spectabile (Ice Plant) of the Crassulaceae family, a hardy perennial with bright pink flowers.  Seen here in the snow.  

January 1909
Tracks and Pathways by Janet Sutherland

Published: 19th January 2017
Fresh milk is delivered by the milkman, who stands by his milk  float.        Date: 1975
Milko by Matthew Stewart

Published: 12th January 2017
Boy holding a fox cub. 

circa 1940s
Boy at the Side of the Road by Russell Jones

Published: 5th January 2017
Though jovian planets may be composed of gases and ices, the dozens of moons around them may be all the solid ground necessary to spawn intelligent beings.     Date: Date unknown
Parallel Universes by Emma Simon

Published: 29th December 2016
A cute black and white cat  ith nice eyes rolls on its back beneath the Christmas tree. Meanwhile, a sensible toy mouse has its eye on the champagne bottle ...

Christmas Mystery (film noir et blanc) by Vivien Freeman

Published: 22nd December 2016
Scrooge’s Wishlist by Derek Sellen

Published: 15th December 2016
A mid-Wales landscape, near Hafod, Cardiganshire, Wales.   

Transhumance by Sharon Larkin

Published: 8th December 2016
Label design for Raffles Hotel, Singapore.     Date: circa 1930s
Gin Slings in Singapore by Rowland Hill

Published: 1st December 2016
Harry Houdini (1874-1926), American stunt performer.  Suspended from the cornice of a New York skyscraper, he must somehow free himself of his chains and make his way to safety ... will he do it ? Is this one trick too many? 

circa 1920s
Escape by Tess Jolly

Published: 24th November 2016
Swallows. Detail from Treasure no. 66 (18 April 1964). 

Swallows by John Freeman

Published: 17th November 2016
Two bombers and bayonet men at the end of sap occupied by L F Company, 2nd Battalion Scots Guards during the attack on 17th October 1915 on the Western Front in France during World War I. In this attack 5 officers and 110 other ranks were killed and wounded.     Date: 17th October 1915
After we’re gone by Jane Clarke

Published: 10th November 2016
Rolling a tar barrel on  November 5th at Brighton         Date: 1853
Remember! by Anon

Published: 3rd November 2016
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright and poet, from the monumental bust at Stratford-upon-Avon.

early 19th century
Bust of Shakespeare by Stephen Devereux

Published: 27th October 2016
Greetings card in the shape of an autumn leaf.     Date: circa 1890s
Autumn Fires by Robert Louis Stevenson

Published: 20th October 2016
Local people, including miners from nearby collieries, lead the effort to clear the debris following the landslide which saw a huge mass of excavated mining debris smash into the Welsh village of Aberfan. A farm, terraced houses and local schools were hit, and the tragedy cost the lives of 116 children and 28 adults.     Date: 21 October 1966
Early One Morning in 1966 by Harry Gallagher

Published: 13th October 2016
Study of a Foot by Federico Barocci.  

16th century
Study of a Foot, Federico Barocci by Jo Brandon

Published: 6th October 2016
The Abbey Ruins by Derek Sellen

Published: 29th September 2016
Iceland Poppies by Marion McCready

Published: 22nd September 2016
A typical late 20th century pedestrianised shopping street in Hull, Yorkshire, England, on the corner of Parliament Street. 

late 1970s
Ode to Hull by Gabriel Moreno

Published: 15th September 2016
A farm girl returning with baskets of apples represents the month of harvest time. Artist: Rie Cramer     Date: circa 1926
Ode to Autumn by John Keats

Published: 8th September 2016
A pretty cat stands proudly on the pavement in Salford, Manchester below a slogan which reads: "Karl Coombe Tomcat". A smartly-dressed elderly man wearing a flat cap strides purposely along behind. Photograph by Shirley Baker     Date: 1981
The art of beckoning cats by Richie McCaffery

Published: 1st September 2016
The Sweet Shop. A young toddler hands her friend a selection of sweets chosen from the tall glass jars in the shop window.

Dolly’s Sweet Shop by Valerie Morton

Published: 25th August 2016
This is how data (and Mary Evans pictures !) are stored  in a scientific manner.  Of  course, if someone should invent the computer, this will be a glimpse of the past.

Filing Room by Robert Peake

Published: 18th August 2016
The Swing by French Painter of Rococo Manner Jean-Honore Fragonard Lover Looking up Dress of Mistress On Swing     Date: 1767
Bertie Wooster at the Wallace Collection by Sarah Lawson

Published: 11th August 2016
Cheery women of the WVS urge  the populace to donate their  aliminium pots and pans to provide parts for Spitfires and Hurricanes. Monetary gifts also acceptable. 

July 1940
You can do without most things by Alison Hill

Published: 4th August 2016
A young gypsy boy with bright red hair clutches his pet guinea pig close to his chest at an encampment in Surrey. 

Gypsy boy and guinea pig by Richard Westcott

Published: 28th July 2016
A woman with her collie dog, paddling in the sea. 

circa 1930s
A house-move and a late phone call by Dilys Wood

Published: 21st July 2016
Original painting by pin-up artist David Wright of a beautiful, dark-eyed brunette wearing an off-the-shoulder blouse.  

circa 1950
Now that her memory has degraded by Fiona Sinclair

Published: 14th July 2016
Children playing in Southam Street, London.    

Ten seconds ago by Stephen Devereux

Published: 7th July 2016
A boat full of water on a sunlit river somewhere in France.  

Upstream by Janet Sutherland

Published: 30th June 2016
Cave of the Hands, Santa Cruz, Argentina -- detail of the paintings. 

circa 7300 BCE
Show of Hands by Ayesha Chatterjee

Published: 23rd June 2016
A young boy plays in the shell of an old car in a farmyard     Date: 01 Jan 1955 - 30 Apr 1957
Steering by Rebecca Gethin

Published: 16th June 2016
'Through Storm to Sunlight' - Our hero is invited by his friends to take part in a card game: needless to say, he loses more than he can afford  
(2 of 4)

Stick or twist by Di Slaney

Published: 9th June 2016
A picture by Soviet photographer Yevgeny Khaldei  shows the destroyed Reichstag in Berlin in April 1945.  

April 1945
Auntie Pat by Harry Gallagher

Published: 2nd June 2016
Senecio Jacobaea, Ragwort. 

circa 1820
Ragwort by Derek Sellen

Published: 26th May 2016
Mrs Blasig in a nightgown. 

circa 1940
Mrs Blasig by Alison Hill

Published: 19th May 2016
Poppy Field and Trees. 

20th century
In Memoriam by Gillian Prew

Published: 12th May 2016
View of Bankside Power Station, an oil-fired power station located on the south bank of the River Thames, London, 30 April 1975.  The power station generated electricity from 1952 to 1981.  Since 2000 it has housed the Tate Modern museum of art.       Date: 1975
Bankside by Stephen Devereux

Published: 5th May 2016
A couple stranded on a rock at Blackpool: 'We're on the rocks. Send us a five pound note.'      Date: 1922
Trust by Fiona Sinclair

Published: 28th April 2016
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Playwright and poet.
To the Reader by Ben Jonson

Published: 21st April 2016
Fabric design for a satin crepe poppy flowered print in red, grey and black on a black background, Art Gout Beaute, 1929.      Date: 1929
Wild Poppies by Marion McCready

Published: 14th April 2016
Close-up of gulls on and above the beach,     Date: 1977
Simultaneity by Dilys Wood

Published: 7th April 2016
A still life of purple and white aubergines (or eggplants) displayed on a cloth.  

circa 1900
Eggplant Apotheosis by Jill Sharp

Published: 31st March 2016
'Spring's Coming' - fairy with outstretched arms and flowers around.     Date: circa 1920s
Spring, the sweet spring by Thomas Nashe

Published: 24th March 2016
Willy Coppens de Houthuist  (born 1892) fights in World War One, specialising in shooting down German observation balloons, of which he destroys 35 !

circa 1916
Les Gloires de l’Aviation Militaire Belge by Richard Westcott

Published: 17th March 2016
External view of the International Friendship Exhibition Palace (or Hall), a six-storey temple at Myohyang-san (Mysterious Fragrant Mountain) in North Pyongan province, in the Myohyang mountain area of North Korea.  The temple opened in 1978 and displays presents received by North Korean leaders over the years. 

circa 2000
The International Friendship Museum, North Korea by Pippa Little

Published: 10th March 2016
Little boy with an early magic lantern at the exhibition Play and the Child, Delft, Netherlands.     Date: 1953
Magic Lantern by Rebecca Gethin

Published: 3rd March 2016
Four rats and a barrel on a Christmas card.      Date: circa 1890s
The Night After Listening To A Psychology Podcast About Alternate Strategies For Working With Dreams by E. E. Nobbs

Published: 25th February 2016
Utagawa Hiroshige print of Bird on a branch in blue.

19th century
Bird on a branch in blue by Ayesha Chatterjee

Published: 18th February 2016
MARILYN MONROE  (Norma Jean Baker, 1926-1962), American film actress and sex symbol. 

circa late 1950s
When a sex symbol takes to sensible shoes by Fiona Sinclair

Published: 11th February 2016
A dreamy teenager listening to  her new Astrud Gilberto LP on  her record player.   

I say a little prayer by Karen Dennison

Published: 4th February 2016
Lady Broughton (1894-1968), the first wife of Sir Jock Delves Broughton with her squirrel monkey, Mr. Winks, whom she brought from British Guiana in 1938.  Previously Miss Vera Griffith-Boscawen, she married Jock in 1913 and divorced him in 1940 (he would go on to marry Diana Caldwell and stand trial for the murder of her lover, Josslyn Hay, Earl of Erroll in Kenya).  Vera travelled widely in South East Asia and was known as a big game hunter and fisherwoman.  She was also a highly regarded photographer of natural subjects.       Date: 1939
In the Studio of Madame Yevonde by Anna Kisby

Published: 28th January 2016
'Souter Lighthouse'  winter scene with white and red lighthouse, and a red sky. 

The Lighthouses of Maryland by Dilys Wood

Published: 22nd January 2016
A young housewife loading up  her Miele washing machine  (with matching dishwasher) in her mini skirt and platform shoes. 

The future back then by Stephen Devereux

Published: 14th January 2016
Italy - Florence - Ponte Vecchio and the back of the Via de' Barbi.     Date: 1912
On the death of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Gabriel Moreno

Published: 5th January 2016
White doves and church bells on a cross-shaped Easter card.      Date: circa 1890s
Ring out, wild bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Published: 31st December 2015
Christine de Pisan (1364?-1430), French writer.
Letter to Christine de Pisan by Sarah Lawson

Published: 21st December 2015
Two owls in the moonlight on a Christmas card, with a quotation from Shakespeare (Love's Labour's Lost).      Date: circa 1890s
Winter’s Song by William Shakespeare

Published: 9th December 2015
Charadrius melodus, piping plover. Plate 220 from John James Audubon's Birds of America, original double elephant folio (1834-35). 

On East Beach by Kelley Swain

Published: 1st December 2015
Salvador Dali (1904-1989), Spanish artist, portrait, late 1960s,
Famous Moustaches by Stephen Devereux

Published: 23rd November 2015
A dugong (Dugong dugon) in the Egyptian Red Sea. Following a trip to the surface to breathe, which happens every four or five minutes, this dugong was just about to land back on its sea grass feeding ground. 

20th century
Dugong, poor cow by Marion Elmes

Published: 17th November 2015
A rambler stops to look at a sundial in Petts Wood, Kent, set up in memory of William Willett, pioneer of 'daylight saving' whose ideas led to British Summer Time.      Date: 1939
Sundial in Petts Wood by Richard Westcott

Published: 13th November 2015
Gooseberries on a branch          Date:
Gooseberries by Stephen Devereux

Published: 10th November 2015
Bifrost - a burning rainbow bridge that reaches between Midgard (the world) and Asgard (the realm of the gods) in Norse mythology.

Bifrost by Aoife Mannix

Published: 9th November 2015
Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566), wife of Louis, Comte de  Maulevrier, and after his death mistress of the Dauphin, later Henri II. Seen here portrayed as the hunting goddess Diana with a stag. 

16th century
Stag Night by Jill Sharp

Published: 5th November 2015
Vauxhall Bridge on a foggy  evening        Date: 1907
November by Thomas Hood

Published: 1st November 2015
General view of the cooling towers of the power station at Church End, Harlesden at night from the west from Crouch Road, London     Date: 1965
Church End Power Station by Stephen Devereux

Published: 26th October 2015
An old shepherd looking  thoroughly dejected as he  stands in the cold with his  sheepdog       Date: mid 19th century
At the Sheepdog Trials by Sarah Lawson

Published: 22nd October 2015
Homeless people sleeping in Embankment Place, central London, in a former 'dormitory' area.  They are disturbed at 4am by  street cleaning carts and are dispersed earlier during the tourist season.      Date: 1970s
Homeless by Harvey Duke

Published: 19th October 2015
Futuristic silver robot toy walking in flowers. 

Silver (1985) by Kelley Swain

Published: 14th October 2015
Book burning on Opernplatz in Berlin (including an appearance by Josef Goebbels). On 10 May 1933 "undeutsches Schrifttum" (Un-German literature) was being burned in many German university towns. These macabre events were the highlight of the campaign "Wider den undeutschen Geist" (Against the Un-German Spirit) after the National Socialists' coming to power. The book burnings had been arranged by the German Student Association's Main Office for Press and Propaganda. 

10 May 1933
Burning the Books by Richard Westcott

Published: 13th October 2015
Still Life of Asparagus. Adriaen Coorte
Still life of asparagus by Lorraine Mariner

Published: 12th October 2015
A scene of bleak desolation at Salford, Manchester, as a lone housewife pushing a pram, accompanied by her two young children walk along a cobbled street, cleared of the terraced houses which once lined it on either side. In the distance through the wet gloom and evening mist can be seen the new home for these cleared communities in high rise tower block flats. Photograph by Shirley Baker     Date: 1964
Shirley Baker’s Photo of Salford, 1964 by Stephen Devereux

Published: 23rd September 2015
Charles Giron (1850-1914). Portrait of Jean Carries around 1880. Oil on canvas.     Date: 1875
Sculpting a mole by Sarah Westcott

Published: 23rd September 2015
Anatomy of pregnancy. Engraving from the 16th century of the anatomy of a pregnant woman's urogenital system. Within the opened uterus (lower center) is a fetus. The ovaries are at lower left and lower right, with the vagina at bottom center. At bottom left is the bladder, whilst the kidneys are at upper left and upper right. The vertical blood vessels between the kidneys are the aorta artery (narrower of the 2) and the inferior vena cava vein. These split (at center) to form iliac veins and arteries. The umbrella-shaped object (at top) is the liver. Image taken from De conceptu et generatione hominis (1580) by Jakob Rueff.
Anatomy by Malene Engelund

Published: 23rd September 2015
Figures photographed on the Tulip Staircase of the Queen's House, though photographer saw nothing ; during normal opening hours of the Museum      Date: 19 June 1966
Insomnia by Tamar Yoseloff

Published: 23rd September 2015
Two barefoot 'dolly birds' languidly reclining on  inflatable armchairs, wearing Space Age see-through  dresses.      Date: late 1960s
Our Word by David Nash

Published: 23rd September 2015
Utagawa Toyokuni  print of Monkey dressed as a poet. Inset of tiger.
Monkey dressed as poet by Kelley Swain

Published: 23rd September 2015
Sunset over the ancient  standing stones of Callanish  Stone Circle, Isle of Lewis,  outer Hebrides, Scotland.       Date: 1980
Standing Stones, Calanais, Isle of Lewis by Jill Sharp

Published: 22nd September 2015
Mr Churchill rung down by a Suffragette's bell
Mr Churchill rung down by a Suffragette’s bell by Lorraine Mariner

Published: 20th September 2015
A London gridlock by Sarah Lawson

Published: 18th September 2015