Literature, especially poetry, is full of images and metaphors that help extraordinarily with the pictorial imagination. In recognition of this, in March 2007 the BBC broadcast ‘A Map of British Poetry’ which within the theme of 'landscapes of the mind' , gave an airing to poems which establish a manifestly invested world in order to advance recognisable truths about human nature in the context of imaginary landscapes. The scenes that came to mind are as compelling and revealing as the hard facts of mountains, rivers and towns. The first contributions were as follows.

Extract from 'Goblin Market' - Christina Rossetti. Read by Juliet Stevenson
Taken from 'Rossetti' Published by Everyman

'I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, not Day.' - Gerard Manley Hopkins. Read by Iain Glen
Taken from 'Hopkins. Poems and Prose' Published by Everyman

'A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky' - Lewis Carroll. Read by Tom Courtenay
Taken from 'The Everyman Book of Victorian Verse'

'Kubla Khan' - Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Read by Richard Holmes
Taken from 'Coleridge. Poetical Works' Published by Oxford University Press.

'The Way through the Woods' - Rudyard Kipling. Read by Kenneth Cranham.
Taken from 'Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition' published by Hodder and Stoughton.


The evocations are a far cry from the prevailing metaphor for the ceptualization of the aesthetics of space in which enclosed and confined sites become associated with productivity.

Western landscapes are a cultural overlay between humans and nature. But how far is it really possible to cling to romantic positives in an unromantic world, such as the healing powers of nature, humankind's struggle to find its inalienable place in the natural universe, the freeing of the buried life through self-awareness and the plastic powers of the imagination?

The following three poets of national status are associated with the Isle of Wight and some of their most important works have incorporated characteristic features of the island's unique landscapes to produce outstanding images of place.

Algernon Swinburne
Tennyson
Keats