Coventry acorns letter for sale
Evening Telegraph (September 2001): "A letter written by John Lennon to a
former clergyman at Coventry Cathedral is expected to fetch up to £8,000
when it is auctioned next month. The letter, written in 1968, followed Lennon's
visit to the city in the summer of that year, during which he and his wife Yoko
Ono donated a white, wrought iron circular garden seat to the cathedral as part
of Canon Stephen Verney's sculpture exhibition. In the centre of the circle there
was a piece of turf and Lennon planted two acorns in small pots as a symbol of
his love for Yoko. He named the sculpture Yoko by John - John by Yoko. But he
was angered when the acorns were stolen just days after they had been planted.
The Evening Telegraph received an anonymous phone call from a man who simply said:
"I have them in my possession," before hanging up." The couple
are also believed to be angry that Canon Verney, pictured, to refused their request
to issue a leaflet to visitors who were interested in the meaning behind the sculpture.
wrote the letter to Canon Verney on June 28 that year. At the end he said: "Could
we not substitute something which is not worth stealing instead, and which says
quite simply, 'Sit here, and think of a church growing into a bigger church? Then
we needn't bother to have clergy and everybody can enjoy the idea'." In a
catalogue published by auctioneers Christie's, Lennon is reported to have planted
one acorn facing east, and the other facing west, symbolising his and Yoko's places
of birth. Lennon also penned the phrase - "Plant an acorn for peace"
to accompany the event.
The description in the catalogue
is of a "22-line letter, written in black ink, the capital letters D, C and
V on the address, annotated by Lennon with small character faces. John opens the
letter on a bitterly sarcastic note, thanking Verney for his Christian attitude
and objecting to Verney's apparent refusal to issue Lennon and Ono's explanatory
leaflet for their sculpture. "Lennon proceeds to take issue with Verney over
apparent concerns he has regarding the influence John and Yoko's piece might have."
Canon Verney left Coventry in 1970, after 12 years at the cathedral, and went
on to become Precentor of the Royal Chapel at Windsor. A Christie's spokesman
said he was unable to confirm who has put the letter up for sale. The auction
will be on October 4th 2001"
Acorns and John&Yoko
City Council about the acorns event:
"Two acorns, planted in Coventry
Cathedrals Unity Lawn on June 14, 1968, represented the very first public
collaboration for peace between John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Placed in the ground
on an east-west axis beneath a circular white garden seat, they were both a symbol
of the couples love for each other and a contribution to a major sculpture
exhibition then being hosted by the Cathedral. But at that point all thoughts
of peace and harmony vanished. Souvenir hunters dug up the acorns, Lennon fell
out spectacularly with the exhibition organisers over their decision to move the
bench and the row left mutual recrimination in the air."
the acorns event in 2005 in The Guardian:
plan? To bring together east and west. "We suddenly realised that when we
planted the two acorns together, there was no distance between them," says
Yoko. "The famous poem of 'East is east, and west is west, and never the
twain shall meet' was true - but John and I brought east and west together out
of our love."
- In 1969, John Lennon
and Yoko Ono mailed acorns to world leaders asking them to plant the acorns for
- In 1996, Yoko Ono organized a web event
called Acorns: 100 Days with Yoko Ono, which was based on her instruction
pieces and audience participation.
2008, starting on the 40th anniversary of the Acorn Peace Event on June 15th 2008,
Yoko Ono published an acorn every day for 100 days at the
- In 2009, Yoko Ono will mail 123 Acorn Peace boxes to world leaders and heads of state, hoping they will plant them in their garden and grow two oak trees for world peace.
makes peace visit to Cathedral" (October 2005)