Friday, 16 April 2010

Margaret Tait - 1918-1999

11 years ago today, Margaret Tait passed away at the age of 80. She left behind one feature film, several shorts films, short stories and three collections of poetry.

We are currently cataloguing her archive of papers, photographs, scripts and correspondence.

It is only in that last few years that Margaret Tait has been properly celebrated.

In 2004, LUX arts agency published a Margaret Tait reader names 'Subjects and Sequence', the name of one of Tait's poetry collections and a DVD of selected films from 1952-1976 followed in 2005.

The author Ali Smith is a fan of her work and included some of her poems in 'The Reader', an anthology of personal favourites published in 2006. Last year , to mark the 10th anniversary of her death, the Tate Modern screened a selection of her films and Ali Smith read some of her poems.

The rainbow is still a miracle

Even when we know what it's made of,

Or think we do.

Whether we really know, as perhaps we do,

Or just think we do,

As is very likely,

It's still magic.

It's just there.

Water particles, refracted light, curvature of space,

might all be a part of it

But it's still what it is.

It is still there.

It is irrefutably a miracle.

Extract from 'Cave Drawing of the Waters of the Earth and Sea', taken from the collection 'Origins and Elements' by Margaret Tait.

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