Teignmouth is a vibrant, idyllic seaside town in South Devon.
250 million years ago it would have been found on the equator. Today it is still balmy. It links to Dartmoor via the tidal river Teign which falls off the edge of the moor at Canonteign falls, the highest series of falls in the country. Historically it goes back to the days of the Picts and Celts and was more or less the farthest west that the Romans dared expand.
It has strong sea-faring roots through the Newfoundland fisheries and the haunt of naval captains fresh from campaigns like Trafalgar. One of its most famous naval inhabitants was Admiral Pellew, the inspiration behind C S Forester‘s Captain Hornblower.
In short it is redolent with history. But it is also alive today with its melange of artistry – the annual Sculpture trail, folk festival, jazz and blues festival, poetry festival, art exhibitions, concerts and regular weekly or monthly events in all these areas. There is also an annual science festival and it strives to be an embryonic Transition town.
“Teignmouth in Verse” is a one-year project to encapsulate some of the history and present day of Teignmouth through verse. Keats ghost is the wraith that roams the streets, the lanes, the alleys, the valleys, the surrounding hills and estuary looking for matter for modern-day verse.
Why Keats? Because Keats spent time here in 1818 whilst he was looking after his brother. Whilst here he wrote Isabella and completed Endymion.