Thursday, 7 October 2010

A Poem for National Poetry Day 2010

As it's National Poetry Day, I'm posting a poem about a poet. I was fortunate enough to win the 2010 Wells Poetry Competition with it, and it will be published in my first collection, 'Communion', next year. I hope to report back on the festival next week.



Coleridge Changes His Library Books


All this altering year you’ve called me

from the hills above Nether Stowey,
in the shifting of fossils and siltstones
that clutter Kilve’s wilderness shore. In Porlock
I glimpsed you through watered windows
at the hearth of the mariners’ inn
with jugfuls of cider, potted laver,
a communion of friends.

I saw your whole world imaged at Wyndcliff,
a moss-softened step for each day
that I gazed upon a Xanadu made real,
from the mazy ramblings of the Wye
down to a sunless Severn Sea.
Even the swift, sleek-whiskered river,
baptising the churchtown of your birth,
floated a dream of you

in a nutshell with paper sails,
walking your poems down droves and causeways,
lugging your library books forty miles,
till Bristol lights its tide of stars
and I see you
brimming with words and stories
all along the Hotwells Road,
as high as the swifts that scream over our city.



14th October 2009




Deborah Harvey © 2009, 2010



2 comments:

  1. This comment is from Janice Windle (I can't get this site to accept my google account, only Donall's!)

    Not surprising that this won, Deb. As usual you bring history, nature and words together with magical effect. I especially like the last three lines of the poem, and this central section which reminds me of your fascinating blog-walks:

    "I saw your whole world imaged at Wyndcliff,
    a moss-softened step for each day
    that I gazed upon a Xanadu made real,
    from the mazy ramblings of the Wye
    down to a sunless Severn Sea."

    Congratulations again! - Jan

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  2. Thanks, Jan. I had a really good time at Wells! Catch up with you soon XX

    ReplyDelete