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John Webber: Women weaving, Nootka Sound

John Webber: Women weaving, Nootka Sound.

A weaving of experience and connection, of chance encounter and accumulated memory, of curious desire and vague determination. A blanket of motivation and obscure influence. Why do we do what we do? Why am I writing these words?

Some years after this event at Nootka Sound, young Samuel Taylor Coleridge will come across Cook’s published journals, read them closely, and eventually begin his Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which I will hear on CBC radio when I am 12, about the same time that I see the original Mutiny on the Bounty. I will be impressed with both of these works. When I am 17, I will read Coleridge’s poem again, and note his use of the gloss as an integral part of the poem. I will remember, and use, this literary device many years later, when I put together my own poem about mariners and their exotic encounters. You are reading such a gloss at this moment.

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