The panel reads three poems by mid-twentieth century American poet, Frank O'Hara, and examines his connexions to other forms of artistic modernism and post-modernism, including not only prose poetry, but abstract expressionism, cubism, and Dadaism.
The panel follows the work of Poe and Lear to the macabre and surreal art of Edward Gorey, looking at four of his early, and most famous, works including The Gashlycrumb Tinies (an abecedarium), The Evil Garden, The Insect God, and The Doubtful Guest.
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear! Who has written such volumes of stuff! Some think him ill-tempered and queer, But a few think him pleasant enough.
The panel reads a selection of Poe's most significant verse, including "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee", and considers not only how Poe's use of Gothic and Romantic themes shapes the content and form of his poems, but also surprising mediæval connexions.
The panel reads a small selection of poems by Geoffrey Hill, with a focus on his use of paradoxical language, complex metaphors, and highly imagistic description--and, contrasts Hill's work with that of the mid-20th century poet, Philip Larkin.
The panel concludes its summer reading of The Canterbury Tales with a look at penitence, sin, and freedom in The Parson's Tale, and then considers whether Chaucer's Retraction (Boece excluded!) is an appropriate end to the Tales and to Chaucer's oeuvre.
In the penultimate episode covering the Canterbury Tales, the panel discusses the potential links between Fragments VIII and IX, the morals of the tales included in them, particularly Cecilia's active piety and the Manciple's reserved discretion.
The panel discusses the final two tales in Fragment VII: the tragic vignettes of unfortunate individuals described in The Monk's Tale, and the jolly (and much beloved) fable of the rooster Chanticleer and the wily Fox in the Nun's Priest's Tale.
The panel considers vice in the Shipman's tale and piety in the Prioress' tale, before moving on to examine Chaucer's humble self-depiction in his rollicking minstrel song, The Tale of Sir Thopas, and in his dialogue on Prudence, The Tale of Melibee.
The panel looks at the honor-before-death connexion between Fragment V and Fragment VI as exemplified by Virginia in the Physician's Tale, and then considers the multiple levels of moral instruction on offer in the boldly hypocritical Pardoner's Tale.
The panel discusses Fragment V, with attention given both to scholarly theories about whether Chaucer deliberately left the Squire's tale interrupted and unfinished, and to Chaucer's use of estates satire in his depiction of the Franklin and his tale.