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John Spicer
Marine zoologist
Recorded at Coleridge Cottage,
Nether Stowey, Somerset,
where 'The Rime' was written.

Grace Schwindt
Hot And Copper Fire
Ceramic, glazing and silver bronze

The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard.

Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread:
It reached the ship, it split the bay;
The ship went down like lead.

Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound,
Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drowned
My body lay afloat;
But swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot's boat.

Why attend public lectures on science? 'To improve my stock of metaphors', said Coleridge. In his view science, 'being necessarily performed with the passion of Hope, was poetic'. And yet defining ‘poem’ he declares it opposed to works of Science, 'by proposing for its immediate object pleasure, not truth.'

Climate change is driving what could become one of the largest mass migrations in the history of our planet. 'The Rime' follows a strange, disturbing voyage from the frozen Antarctic to the tropics. The warming of the ocean is forcing marine life in the reverse direction, from tropical and temperate to the polar regions.

Life ‘tries’ to find colder waters, refuges from seemingly inescapable change. But where are the refuges for the vast majority of unique life forms inhabiting polar waters? This question has sparked interest in the notion of evolutionary rescue, and the ability of organisms to rapidly adapt to environmental change.

John Spicer