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13 November 2014

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You are in: Somerset > Arts & Culture > Poem to celebrate Coleridge centenary

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Poem to celebrate Coleridge centenary

Your help is needed to help celebrate Somerset and a special Coleridge birthday.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge is one of the country's most celebrated poets.

For three years from 1797, Coleridge lived in Somerset and now the National Trust is celebrating its 100 years of ownership of the cottage he lived in.

Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey was where he wrote some of his most well known work, including the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Frost at Midnight and Kubla Khan.

To celebrate the centenary, the National Trust has joined forces with poet Jo Bell to produce a special poem whereby people put forward their suggestions for a line / theme of the poem which Jo will then put together.

"I'm hoping to produce a poem that celebrates Coleridge and his landscape, but often the best way for a poet to approach a subject is from an unusual angle," she said.

"One of Coleridge's best-loved poems explains that 'in Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree....' So the question I want contributors to our poem to answer is, 'what would you have in YOUR pleasure dome?'

"It might be a particularly significant Somerset view, or the place where you met your partner - but it might equally be a memory or thing that has nothing to do with Somerset - your children saying something funny, or your first kiss, a bottle of champagne drunk on the beach, a great win by the home team! It might be your daughter's first shoe or your grandfather's last picture.

"Think of the pleasure dome as a big museum into which we can put anything that gives us pleasure."

Jo said she was braced and prepared for some cheeky suggestions, however she hopes to end up with a unique mix of "pleasurable memories or items".

“In my pleasure dome I'd choose the old bottle opener left to me by my dad, which symbolises many happy evenings drinking beer - or the memory of a weekend on my narrow boat, working through locks and picnicking with friends,” says Jo.

Public contributions need to be sent to by Monday 20 July and the finished poem will then be performed at Coleridge Cottage on its centenary day which is Sunday 16 August.

last updated: 08/06/2009 at 18:19
created: 08/06/2009

You are in: Somerset > Arts & Culture > Poem to celebrate Coleridge centenary

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