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Coleridge and the Shipping Industry

By Harriet Staff

See this article from the BBC about Cardiff University Professor Michael Bloor’s damning report on the shipping industry. The report, inspired by Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” is titled “The Rime of the Globalised Mariner.”

From the article:

Prof Bloor, an academic at the university’s Seafarers International Research Centre, has travelled to countries including the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, India and Turkey to interview people he says are “very much a forgotten group”.

He said: “Initially it was a little intellectual exercise but as it progressed, I became more determined to make it a public document so people could understand the difficult conditions that seafarers labour under.

“Poor training, poor safety performance and long hours put them at serious risk at sea.

“I’ve been raising these issues in traditional academic articles for years and I’ve been frustrated by the lack of change.

“I’m hoping to have more effect by making these points in poetry rather than sociological prose.”

The Rime of the Globalised Mariner: In Six Parts (with Bonus Tracks from a Chorus of Greek Shippers) charts the life of a Filipino who has to take up seafaring due to the poverty of his background.

His career in the industry begins with him being ripped off by unscrupulous trainers, officials and local politicians for a place at a training college that has no equipment and does not even take the students out to sea.

For more, including the poem itself, go here.

Posted in Poetry News on Friday, August 24th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.