Is there anywhere more poetic and inspiring than the beautiful landscape of Devon? From those rolling hills, dramatic coastline and never ending moors, there are plenty of sights that can and has inspired the world’s greatest poets.
For those that don’t know, World Poetry Day is celebrated on 21st March and was declared so by UNESCO, the idea of World Poetry Day is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry across the globe.
A good place to start celebrating World Poetry Day is in North Devon, where former poet laureate, Ted Hughes, once called home. Though he was originally from Yorkshire, he moved to the North of Devon in 1961 and there is a memorial stone to him made from Dartmoor Stone placed at his favourite spot on the moor.
There are also links to many of the most romantic poets in history. Lynmouth was apparently a favourite holiday destination for the likes of Shelley, Wordsworth and Coleridge.
Moving south, to Torquay, it isn’t just Agatha Christie that put the town on the map, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning lived there for a number of years after her doctor suggested the fresh air would improve her health. Unfortunately, it is reported that she didn’t particularly enjoy her stay, unlike former Prime Minister and writer, Benjamin Disreali. He started visiting the town during the 1850s and came back many times staying at the former Royal Hotel before he became too embroiled in politics to focus on his writing.
Lord Alfred Tennyson was another fan of Torquay describing it as “the loveliest sea village in England’ and the poet Rupert Brooke is thought to have written Seaside about the resort.
A little further along the coast in Teignmouth, you’ll find a blue plaque at 20 Northumberland Terrace, AKA Keats’ House, which is where John Keats penned a lot of his work.
If you want more links to the romantic poets, east Devon is the best place to go. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the country’s leading romantic poets was born in the vicarage of Ottery St Mary in the 1700s. He spent much of his early life there and a mention of the village can be found in Frost at Midnight.
Poetry is still a popular art form in Devon, with festivals and competitions regularly taking place and many modern poets have emerged from the region. Can you find any mentions of Devon in classic poetry? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.