Lindow Manchester

More Lindow Man Poetry

Maria van Daalen recently visited the Lindow Man exhibition and emailed me after talking to Chris, our Visitor Services Assistant, who was on duty in the gallery. She wanted to say how much she enjoyed the exhibition and reading the poetry section on the Blog. Maria has herself written poetry that speaks of the times when the bog people were killed. She hasn’t written anything on this topic recently, but she says she’s very much intrigued by the phenomenon. She suggested looking at the following websites and for information on the five bog people found in her native Holland and the exhibition ‘Bog People’, some years ago. “I’ve often gone to visit our bog people in their museum in the province of Drente (The Netherlands)” she said. Maria believes that they were sacrificed, saying that places that are neither water nor land, are sacred: they are a natural border between this world and the Other World. I think this is very similar to what Dr Melanie Giles, who contributed to the Lindow Man exhibition, talked about in her interview and also in a paper at a Manchester Museum conference on human remains in November 2006. Maria said: “Your way of exhibiting makes meeting the Lindow Man a very intimate happening: I loved that! My compliments for the exhibition.” Maria’s website is, so people can look her up.

Maria’s kindly allowed us to reproduce her poem and she adds this note by way of introduction:-

“Here underneath you’ll find my poem from around the times of Lindow Man.

NOTE: There was something really spooky about this poem, and about writing it (winter 1986). It’s from the very first series of poems I ever wrote. I ‘saw’ it happen in a vision. The names ‘Brigha’ and ‘Norbert’ came to me without me knowing anything. I had to do a lot research afterwards, before understanding, that the poem speaks of Sawhain, which I didn’t know anything about at the time, and that there really was a tribe of the Brigantes, and that ‘Brigha’ might be another name of the Goddess. I guess that my poem means to say, that there was at least one warrior named after Her, possibly Her personal warrior, who had his life sacrificed to Her. Apparently, seeing the poem, he bought the life sentence with the dead of a child. I myself always had strong moral objections against this poem. But I couldn’t write on if I didn’t publish it. So the Goddess won out in the end. As She always does, I understood — I talked with Gordon The Toad at length about Her.
I never found any ‘Norbert’. That is, there are so many, that it wasn’t conclusive.
Oh: ‘Brigha,’ when that name came to me, was spelled with a ‘-X-‘, but the sounds was ‘-gh-‘, just like in runes, right?



At night I go down

to the dark pit and stand.


They approach in groups of eight, of four,

clad in the gray skins,

half-heads over their own.

Who’s carrying the sacrifice? Brigha.

Norbert the knife, me the goblets.


Before it bleeds it is prayed for

to the cold goddess beside the stone,

waiting, demanding in the moonlight

of November, time of the beginning.

A single cry is muffled away.


It is freezing when we turn

our backs to the pine forest. Bespattered. Substantiated.


*Poem ‘WOLF PIT’ from the poetry volume ‘RAVESLAG’ (Ed. Querido, Amsterdam, 1989). Poet MARIA VAN DAALEN.

**Translation by Ms. Wanda Boeke (1996).

Thank you to Maria for allowing us to reproduce the poem.


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[…] to Mr Broadhurst for allowing us to reproduce this. This is one of a number of poems produced in response to seeing or hearing about Lindow […]

Pingback by Lindow Pete 1983 Poem | Lindow Manchester

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