The panel reads “The Quest of the Sangraal” by the nineteenth-century parson and poet, Robert Stephen Hawker, with special attention to the use of differing Arthurian traditions and the fusion of mediæval and modern poetic forms, syntax, and vocabulary.
The panel reads three poems by Thomas Traherne, a late seventeenth-century English poet of imaginative, reflective, and speculative verse, whose manuscripts were discovered by happenstance and saved from the refuse pit in the late nineteenth century.
The panel reads Washington Irving’s Christmas sequence from The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., and examines how its portrayal of an old-fashioned, English Christmas served to influence attitudes towards the ideal of Christmas in the United States.
The panel concludes a three-week reading of The Lay of the Children of Hurin, examining the connexion between the history, geography, and cosmology of Tolkien’s imagined Middle-Earth and that of our own, very real, terrestrial middle-earth.
The panel reads the second part of The Lay of the Children of Hurin, which relates the tale of Beleg Strongbow, and the doom of Turin Turambar, giving special attention to how the text connects to other mythological and Anglo-Saxon poems and narratives.
The panel begins a three-week reading and analysis of the first version of J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lay of the Children of Hurin”, a poetic account of Turin Turambar, written between 1918 and 1925, and first published in The Lays of Beleriand (1985).
The panel examines three poems by Delmore Schwartz, with a particular focus on his language and themes, including a poetic biography of Lincoln, a metaphysical examination of Narcissus, and a portrayal of time as a frightening, existential inferno.
In Critical Reading’s first episode dedicated to a work of prose, the panel reads Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, Young Goodman Brown, and examines its allegorical structure, considering what it might suggest about both human nature and the modern era.
The panel concludes its series on American Civil War poetry with Whitman’s Drum Taps and Sequel to Drum-Taps, focusing in particular upon the structure, symbolism, and historical details of Whitman’s three poems on the death of President Lincoln.
The panel reads a selection of the poems added to the 1860-61 edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, focusing on what the poetry suggests about human nature, political life, and the people of the United States on the eve of the Civil War.
The panel reads two poems from Longfellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863): ‘Torquemada’ and ‘The Birds of Killingworth’, examining the role of zeal, dogma, and radical conduct in the poems, and what it may suggest about the war between the states.
In the first of a two-part reading of selections from Longfellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn, the panel reads the beginning of the Prelude and then examines “Paul Revere’s Ride” in detail, with attention to the structure of the text and its formal aspects.