[picture by Phyllis Baxter]
Yesterday I met up with former churchwarden, now assistant c/w, and fellow Coleridge Memorial Trust member Grenville Gilbert at Ottery St Mary church. We talked about the young boy Samuel Taylor Coleridge playing in the church grounds as well as the church itself, perhaps in the nave which linked well to Grenville’s anecdote about STC floating a little boat down the stream that still runs along the length of the churchyard.
I know the church reasonable well, but I was treated to an informed guide through the parts and features that relate specifically to Samuel as well as, obviously, his father who was the vicar there.
We also discussed Grenville’s religious verse from his collection More Honest to God and my found prose poems, this expanded on a little in an email I received afterwards from Grenville, including and ranging across details about Thomas Peacock’s criticism of Coleridge, as well as The Penguin Book of Prose Poems.
I found the following poem in the wonderful insights and experience of this meeting, written and that conversed about, and share here –