I’m going to kick off the celebration with a project I discovered last year: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Big Read. I was instantly hooked after listening to the first reading (by actor Jeremy Irons—see below—which I may or may not have listened to more than once) and eagerly looked forward to the next reading being made available online. Lucky for all those new to it, the project is now complete! Here’s more info about it, from the project’s About page:
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a founding fable of our modern age. We are the wedding guests, and the albatross around the Mariner’s neck is an emblem of human despair and our abuse of the natural world. Yet in its beautiful terror there lies a wondrous solution – that we might wake up and find ourselves saved. Art knows no boundaries. The Ancient Mariner Big Read is an inclusive, immersive work of audio and visual art from the 21st century that reflects the sweeping majesty and abiding influence of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 18th century epic poem.
First published in 1798 – we use Coleridge’s revised version of 1817 – but still vitally relevant today, it is no coincidence, perhaps, that this poem is the first great work of English literature to speak to isolation and loneliness – and the possibility of redemption if we mend our ways. Three years in the making, drawing on the talents of actors, artists, performers, poets, and writers, The Ancient Mariner Big Read is a brand-new digital work of art in its own right – a wild and tempestuous voyage into the unknown.“
Every Wednesday throughout the month I will post a recommendation of a poetry collection by a single poet. I hope you’ll check them out! Interested in recommendations from previous years? Click here!