The panel discusses a selection of poems covering the entire span of Abraham Cowley’s oeuvre: beginning with his college years and the unfinished epic ‘Davideis’, through his popular collections, and concluding with his late ‘Ode to the Royal Society’.
The panel discusses a selection of John Milton’s shorter poems, the oft-paired ‘L’Allegro’ and ‘Il Penseroso’, and examines their use of Orpheus as a metaphor, and their different attitudes to finding communal delight and solitary pleasure in life.
The panel analyses the use of irony in the poetic works of Stephen Crane, including selections from “War Is Kind” (1899), and discusses the development of realism and imagism in English literature, especially in poetry about the experience of war.
The panel analyses contradiction in Melville’s earliest and latest published poems: three selections from Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War–his first collection–and “Art” from Timoleon and Other Ventures, published only four months before his death.
In a return to the works of Alexander Pope, the panel reads his “Eloisa to Abelard” in full and discusses the complexity of Eloisa’s tragic circumstances: her love for Abelard, her vocation as a nun, and the suffering to which they have been subjected.
The panel discusses the late Romantic shift in focus from nominally Christian, deified Nature to transcendental beauty in three longer works by Keats, including “The Eve of St. Agnes” and excerpts from “Endymion” and the unfinished “Hyperion”.
The panel engages in a wide-ranging discussion of Percy Bysshe Shelley and his relation to the early and late Romantic movements, his work to establish the reputation of Keats, his association with radical politics, and his own untimely death, aged 29.
The panel begins a multi-week review of Romanticism with a review of the movement’s (and the author’s) effects upon poetry, including readings of three works: “Darkness”, “The Destruction of Sennacherib”, and excerpts from “The Bride of Abydos”.
The panel discusses the difference between verse and poetry (including whether such a difference exists), and examines three ‘frosty’ poems by Service, including “Pullman Porter”, “The Prospector”, and his famous ballad, “The Cremation of Sam McGee”.
The panel considers the role of time, colour, militarism, rhyme, repetition, meter, and other formal poetic aspects in three of the more popular and widely-anthologised poems written by Elizabeth Bishop: “Roosters”, “The Fish”, and “One Art”.
The panel examines the complicated irony of Philip Larkin’s verse, and considers his use of poetic formalism, and themes including rebelliousness, nihilism, love, and impermanence, in “This Be the Verse”, “Aubade”, “An Arundel Tomb”, and “Days”.
The panel continues to welcome in a new year by looking back to an old year–in this case, A.D. 1666, and Dryden’s poem “Annus Mirabilis”, which ruminates on the wonders of war with Holland, the Great Fire of London, and the heroic conduct of Charles II.