The Kent coast and countryside has provided inspiration for poets throughout the centuries.
'Many fair spots of sylvan beauty lie, Around thee, many old historic sites, Sacred to legend and to poesy, And all wherein the fancy most delights, There the clear Medway glideth gently by, And with a murmur sweet, the shading bough requites.'
Poet Laureate Alfred Austin lived at Swinford Old Manor near Ashford.
'Ever before me is the picture of the High Street, Yalding. I smell the hop wagons rucking down from the farms whose least Bramling weighed ten times as much as was raised at impious Pembury or baleful Paddock Wood. I see my cricket bat, newly bound, gleaming on a nail outside the saddlers. Avast ye heart-breaking memories!'
The autumn bonfire smokes across the woods, And reddens in the water of the moat; As red within the water burns the scythe, And the moon dwindled to her gibbous tithe, Follows the sunken sun afloat.
The close of life! – for old men die, Not those so young and strong as I! O! mercy, I cannot, will not go. How can a man pray tormented so?
The Romantic poet John Keats, whose short but remarkable career and early death from tuberculosis at the age of twenty-five have made him one of the most known and best loved poets of all time, holidayed in Margate on two occasions in the summer and early autumn of 1816 and again in the summer of 1817.
'My last hours in England were brightened by a bathe in the fair green Channel, in company of the best piece of Nation left in England – a Harrow boy, of superb intellect and refinement because of the way he spoke of my going away; and the way he spoke of the Sun; and of the Sea, and the Air; and everything.'
Dante Gabriel Rossetti was a prolific English poet, painter, and illustrator of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. His sister Christina was a poet. In 1882 he came to Birchington for the sea air, but he died and is buried there.
Sassoon was born at Weirleigh, Matfield in 1886 and lived there throughout his childhood. His war poem 'Repression of War Experience' is set not in the trenches but at his home in the High Weald of Kent.
The Storr family lived at Brenchley where they wrote poetry including the Minnows from Brenchley Brook published in 1861.
Low tide. Light breeze. To the north Deal pier waddles seawards towards France, a concrete centipede on rigid legs straddling the falling tide.
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