This seat in Ottery St Mary’s Churchyard bears the words -: ‘For remembering those we have loved and lost though never had the joy of meeting’. Well, there is a certain logic in that if we think of our ancestors but also a bizarre message that could have been inspired by Coleridge’s own logic!
I must be one of the only writers and lovers of Coleridge’s poetry not to be aware of the Ottery St Mary’s link with him until now. But how inspiring to walk around the very places where he walked into his father’s church and look at the very same old 14th century clock that Coleridge looked on. He who never really fitted in, was always a little different but with an vast intellect. I find his ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ one of the greatest poems ever written and certainly the best description of sin and its consequences in the entire English language.
After a difficult autumn with lots of challenges it was great to get away for a few days to Devon and be uplifted, inspired and re-invigorated by such an amazing poet. Thanks STC, one of my all time favourite poets.
In the words of his own Epitaph
Stop, Christian passer-by! – Stop, child of God,
And read with gentle breast. Beneath this sod
A poet lies, or that which once seem’d he.
O, lift one thought in prayer for STC;
That he who many a year with toil of breath
Found death in life, may here find life in death!
Mercy for praise – to be forgiven for fame
He ask’d, and hoped, through Christ. Do thou the same!
Great advice from a great poet.