Rime of the Modern Mariner - retelling of classic poem for our plastic times

06 December 2011

Helen - In our special festive edition of Naked Oceans as we bring you our guide to ocean-friendly Christmas presents.

So far we've had a virtual piece of coral reef, and a sustainably sourced pet fish. Next I want to suggest something for book lovers - and art lovers - and poetry fans (so you've got many bases covered with this one). It's my favourite ocean book of the year, a beautiful retelling of Samuel Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Cover Rime of Modern Mariner by Nick HayesIllustrator Nick Hayes has produced a stunning graphic novel that places this thoroughly modern mariner on a park bench, talking to an office worker about his adventures in a sea of plastic.

I won't give away too much - just to say that Nick's artwork is exquisite - all in shades of blue, it echoes the Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai - and he uses it to sculpt a powerful message about the changing oceans...  and there's a fair bit of science in there too.

I especially liked the cameo played by the much-missed Roger Deakin and an appearance of sculptor David Nash's ash dome. You'll have to read it to find out more.

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