Turner – Verse and Art

Turner poem manuscript

Turner poem manuscript

I’ve already commented on the relationship, or juxtaposition, of poetry and art.  It turns out that this has been going on for longer than I supposed in Teignmouth.

In 1811 Joseph Mallord William Turner did a West Country tour.  His sketchbook was accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest in 1856.  Interestingly though, interspersed with his drawings sixty-nine pages contain verses which Turner intended as a commentary for publication with ‘Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast of England’.

This particular verse refers to time spent around this area.  For more information follow the link at the end.

Draft Artist Notes
(JMW Turner 1811)

Totness the port where hangs the neglected bar
This once resounding shore now silent is thro war
Yet gleams afar by her blanched sails
And straining pendants which the eye[?] regales
amidst the mass of richness floating round
Did hurt the sight from quantity till a bound
striving to find by happyness[?] coming hour
The West country[?] but allows that power
Towring above the long inclined[?] space
Where Dawlish pastures fair and watring[?] place
Tiegnmouth and Babicombe and Ore
Refer[?] in majestic greatness bleak Dart moor
Whose upmost Crags like broken ridges rest drest
in sombre majesty oft capt in cloudy vest


Want to know more?  Checkout:  Turner and Teignmouth


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