Monday, 4 October 2010

Literary Landscapes: Charlotte Smith's Beachy Head

October 7th is National Poetry Day and seeing as I'll be at the Frankfurt Book Fair then and probably not able to blog (I'm sorry to brag, I'm just v. excited about being in the exciting world of publishing) I thought I would devote this week's Literary Landscapes to Beachy Head. This is a shot of the construction of the light house, and I find it bloody terrifying.

Lots of poets have tackled Beachy Head. It's inspired some pretty emo doggrel over the years, but also one of my favourite landscape poems: the eponymously named blank verse classic by Romantic Charlotte Smith.

ON thy stupendous summit, rock sublime !
That o'er the channel rear'd, half way at sea
The mariner at early morning hails,
I would recline; while Fancy should go forth,
And represent the strange and awful hour
Of vast concussion; when the Omnipotent
Stretch'd forth his arm, and rent the solid hills,
Bidding the impetuous main flood rush between 
The rifted shores, and from the continent
Eternally divided this green isle.
Imperial lord of the high southern coast ! 


Post a Comment