Friday, October 28, 2011

In Praise of Poet Tree: Secret Sculptor on the Loose in Edinburgh

The mysterious paper tree
It looked like this was a one-off, a beautiful and delicate piece of art created by a fan of the Poetry Library. Until, in late June, the National Library of Scotland found themselves the recipient of a similar piece.
Those of you who don't keep up with Edinburgh's literary world through Twitter may have missed the recent spate of mysterious paper sculptures appearing around the city.
One day in March, staff at the Scottish Poetry Library came across a wonderful creation, left anonymously on a table in the library. Carved from paper, mounted on a book and with a tag addressed to @byleaveswelive - the library's Twitter account - reading:
It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree.… ... We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.… This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. a gesture (poetic maybe?)
To continue reading this article and seeing the rest of these lyrical and dreamlike sculptures, click here


  1. All the artworks have been wonderful, and it's been fun tagging along to see where these pop up.

  2. Aren't they gorgeous? I am in awe. Would love to see a catalogue of these ora show. I wonder if that will ever come to pass. Maybe these will inspire some other artists! The act is so generous. And I love that the people of Edinburgh don't want the mysterious artist revealed.

  3. Many of the organisations who have received one say they are interested in organising an exhibition... we'll see!

  4. Thanks, Chris! I lived in Edinburgh in the 1980's and hope to return one day. A show of these sculptures would be an excellent reason for a journey.