Sunday 23rd October 2016                 Change text size:

Celebrating National Poetry Day: La Belle Dame sans Merci

Photo: Sterling College via Flickr

La Belle Dame sans Merci – or The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy – is an 1819 poem by John Keats. One hundred and forty-three years later, it would provide the inspiration for one of the environmental movement’s seminal texts: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

A full version of Keats’ poem – which includes the line that led to the naming of Carson’s book, “The sedge is wither’d from the lake, And no birds sing” – can be found here.

The video below is narrated by the actor Ben Whishaw.

For more information on National Poetry Day, see here.

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