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.
Author: Critical Readings
CR Episode 152: Young Goodman Brown
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.
CR Episode 151: Whitman and the Civil War, Part II
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.
CR Episode 150: Whitman and the Civil War, Part I
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.
CR Episode 149: Longfellow and the Civil War, Part II
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.
CR Episode 148: Longfellow and the Civil War, Part I
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.
CR Episode 147: Melville and the Civil War, Part II
The panel concludes a two-part survey of Melville’s reading of the Civil War as viewed through his Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866) by discussing poems on Stonewall Jackson, the Surrender at Appomattox, and post-war America.
CR Episode 146: Melville and the Civil War, Part I
In this first episode of a two-part examination of Melville’s poetic response to the Civil War, the panel reads two poems from his first poetry collection, Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866): ‘The Conflict of Convictions’ and ‘Gettysburg’.
CR Episode 145: E. E. Cummings on Nonconformity
The panel performs a thorough close readings of two well-anthologised poems by E. E. Cummings–‘i sing of Olaf glad and big’ and ‘the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls’–examining how their structure and formal aspects reflect their content.
CR Episode 144: Poetry for King Charles
In celebration of King Charles III, the panel reads two poems written to celebrate the reigns of his predecessors, King Charles I and King Charles II, including a New Year’s Gift by Thomas Carew and a coronation panegyric by John Dryden, respectively.
CR Episode 143: Poetry In Memoriam Elizabeth II
The panel reads poetry celebrating the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, including Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes for the Silver Jubilee, Hughes for the 40th anniversary, Simon Armitage for the Platinum Jubilee, and his newly-written Floral Tribute.
CR Episode 142: The Poetry of James Weldon Johnson
The panel reads three stirring poems by the American diplomat, activist, author, poet, and professor James Weldon Johnson, examining the theological symbolism and social commentary in “The Creation”, “Listen, Lord”, and “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.