The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and Their Year of Marvels
It is the most famous year in English poetry. Out of it came The Ancient Mariner and `Kubla Khan', as well as Coleridge's unmatched hymns to friendship and fatherhood, Wordsworth's revolutionary songs in Lyrical Ballads and the greatness of `Tintern Abbey', his paean to the unity of soul and cosmos, love and understanding.
To a degree never shown before, THE MAKING OF POETRY explores the idea that these poems came from this place, and that only by experiencing the physical circumstances of the year, in all weathers and all seasons, at night and at dawn, in sunlit reverie and moonlit walks, can the genesis of the poetry start to be understood.
The poetry they made was not from settled conclusions but from the adventure on which they were embarked, thinking of poetry as a challenge to all received ideas, stripping away the dead matter, looking to exfoliate consciousness and so change the world.
What emerges is a portrait of these great figures seen not as literary monuments but as young people, troubled, ambitious, dreaming of a vision of wholeness, knowing they had greatness in them but still in urgent search of the paths towards it.
The artist Tom Hammick accompanied Adam for much of the year, making woodcuts from the fallen timber in the park at Alfoxden where the Wordsworths lived. His images bridge the centuries, depicting lives at the source of our modern sensibility: a psychic landscape of doubt and possibility, full of beauty and thick with desire for a kind of connectedness that seems permanently to hand and yet permanently out of reach.
|Publication date||30 May 2019|
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