Day 3 of Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2018

Poet-Priest and ‘Rocking Rev’ Malcolm Guite, is Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge and the author of eight books which includes ‘Mariner, a spiritual biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’.

At the session, he explored Coleridge’s poetry and connected it to his book the Mariner which dealt in-depth the complexities of his work.

“The words are hidden symbols

said the Reverend as he recited different verses stopping amidst to explain and analyze the concealed facts behind the words. 

Speaking about the subject of the sin of shooting the albatross by the Mariner, the Reverend took the opportunity to talk about something bigger than poetry and spoke passionately about how the number of albatrosses have fallen today due to pollution and linked the old poem to today’s current world in how we too are committing the sin of killing off the albatross. 

“When I saw the picture of a dead Albatross with his stomach open and the contents inside were all polythene, it made me go back to the poem by Coleridge and I just saw the similarities”

Speaking to us after the session, the Reverend told us that the session went well.

“It was delightful to see that I invoked a lot of memories in a lot of people and I was so happy to see some of the audience members mouthing the words as I recited the poem and I think the poem just articulates what is happening today.”

We also spoke to some of the audience members who attended the session to gather a few comments; 

“As a professor, I think this is the finest piece of literature I’ve ever heard” – Nalin


“Excellent session! I can’t wait to read his book” –Dhushi


“A truly wonderful session!” – Christine



“For me, this session was like reliving my childhood. When we were in school we learned this very poem for school and listening to this session felt so nostalgic and he really brought so much meaning into it”  - Dayan


“It was really great! Fantastic reading and I thought his parallel on the poem to the current world is really great” – Nilani


“Marvelous really! Great speaker with so much to say” – Robert



“It was just amazing the way he drew the parallel of the poem to what’s happening today. He’s very profound” – Beverly

“Fantastic session! He bought to life one of the best poems and he also gave life to school memories. Just brilliant interpretation by him” – Hemaka



Panchali Illankoon

Law undergrad and occasional Aunty. Foodie, travel enthusiast and full time dog mom.


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