Symbolically, Pearls provides a vehicle for wisdom as well as providing a mirror in which to see ourselves, giving us insight into how we appear to others.
In a more literal sense, the “Mother” in the poem is on a mission to ‘find herself’ through some pearls that she thinks are hidden in the rocks. Her son, who is watching from down below, is trying desperately to communicate, to gain her attention, her love. In fact, he is trying to tell her that she already has pearls, if only she could see them.
The first line of the poem was inspired by a poetry-film on Moving Poems site, so it seemed appropriate to explore my text further through film. I sent the poem to Voiceover Artist and Broadcaster David Wartnaby. A few weeks later, I found exactly the right footage, music and sound and the poetry-film fell into place.
A film about the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 from Elephant’s Footprint—the collaborative team of Chaucer Cameron and Helen Dewbery, with Cameron contributing the poem and the two of them co-directing.