The Grave of Summer

As it is almost spring, these are some photographs of Coleridge’s beloved Quantock’s. The pinnacle of a pilgrimage on a bicycle, by Edward Thomas, which began in Clapham, London. He was ‘In Pursuit of Spring,’ eventually reaching the holiest of holy poetic landscapes in England, where Coleridge wrote his most famous poems. In his own words…

“This is the record of a journey from London to the Quantock Hills—to Nether Stowey, Kilve, Crowcombe, and West Bagborough, to the high point where the Taunton-Bridgwater road tops the hills and shows all Exmoor behind, all the Mendips before, and upon the left the sea, and Wales very far off. It was a journey on or with a bicycle. The season was Easter, a March Easter. “A North-Easter, probably?” No. Nor did much north-east go to the making of it. I will give its pedigree briefly, going back only a month—that is, to the days when I began to calculate, or guess methodically, what the weather would be like at Easter.”

What can be seen in the photograph’s is less the Grave of Winter and more the Grave of Summer, as the photograph’s were taken on the Edward Thomas Fellowship Autumn Walk last year. Still, you can see in the photograph’s the panoptic view the Quantock’s enable the poet, as described by Edward in the opening paragraph of his pilgrimage. I had found summer’s grave: I had found the beginning’s of winter, and I was confident that I could walk on and find that the summer is gone, and can never return.

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