Chant du monde boréal
Sandshifter, 60N.
Where it all makes sense.



Through Chronicles from Arcania, I shall attempt to share walks with you, this poetics from 60N, where I feel at one with our Earth, my sense of place so maritime.

Sunday, 7 November 2010


finding our place

Geopoetics, intellectual nomadism, metasaga...

When selecting my training courses for my October two-day In-Service Training last September, I came across one that immediately spoke to my heart. Its description read fascinating - its title said it all. Metasaga.
My new term began with a bang, as I met with a very inspiring course leader and group whilst on a on that particular course at school. Firstly, I was a little astonished to find the course under-subscribed... However, I felt far less surprised to find two of my fellow local poets/artists among our group, Fair Isle based Lise Sinclair and Hebridean bard & writer, Donald S. Murray, who teaches English in Sandwick. As a matter of fact, all participants were involved in the Arts at educational level. 

Wunjo, rune of joy, light
A token of somebody's love... Friendship engraved on a stone, which finds its place around my neck. I made sure I would not forget it on my journey through autumn term. Metasaga is a compound word formed out of two words, meta, from metaphor and saga, from our neighbouring nordic friends. Storytelling is very much interwoven in the history & cultural heritage.  As soon as our course leader began to explain what we were to undertake, my geopoetical heart began to sing deep inside!
Uyesound School headteacher Kate Coutts spoke very much like Kenneth White, father of Geopoetics, the albatross and intellectuial nomadism; she aims to help us  find our place in the world around us by taking us on an inner journey.

Metasaga does not answer questions - it enables each journeyman to ask much deeper questions about him/herself in this world through culture, heritage and physical landscape.. 

Needless to say we did not stay very long in the classroom, for some adventure was waiting for us! Re-starting school in late October in not so clement weather conditions, I would have been surprised to spend an afternoon at Ninian Sands or even more nearby beach...Instead, we found ourselves meandering in and around our local museum and archives in Lerwick. Perfect! The museum houses everything we needed to undertake this shared inner journey. We each  picked a spot, an object, a moment. Delight. We thought of themes, values, packaged the lot in some educational and/or more personal context... Dressed it with questions, pictures. We used our creativity, poetics, to make it happen and found joy in creating our group metasaga. 

Result: two fabulous days. Geopoetics, metasaga in the making. Please click! Shetland Metasaga

What a formidable tool to respond to individuals, young or slightly older to find themselves. Although Kate re-iterarted this was in no way a new concept, she nonetheless packaged it with grace to notably meet the needs of all, including those of our Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. 
Next step? To introduce colleagues and pupils at my school and start sharing all its benefits! It has started. Our world is in motion.

Kenneth White will smile again. We, the intellectual nomads, have an additional way to find our place in the world. 

Metasaga belongs to us.

Please click on this link Metasaga Home


  1. Keep finding that rune on my veranda

  2. Fantastic, Sarah! :-)))
    mine lives around my neck. Together with Gebo, they remain my favourites. May Wunjo shine for you as well, my friend :-).
    N x