The panel concludes its two-week survey of Irish poets, ending with Peter Fallon’s ‘The Old Masters’, Patrick Kavanagh’s ‘Address to an Old Wooden Gate’, and Seamus Heaney’s ‘Fosterling’.
The panel begins a two-week survey reading Irish poets, beginning with William Allingham’s ‘The Fairies’, James Joyce’s ‘A Prayer’, and Louis MacNeice’s ‘Prayer before Birth’.
The panel reads three poems by Thomas Hardy (including some with an appropriately hibernal theme), discusses Hardy’s role in contemporary literature, and plans some short story readings for the summer, along with one especially long poem.
The panel considers multiple, potentially competing, readings of three poems from the early, middle, and late work of W. B. Yeats, covering three of his poetic interests: faerie, Irish political events, and a longing for spiritual engagement.
The panel examines three poems by W. H. Auden, including his much-anthologised and potentially ironic ‘Funeral Blues’, the literary biography ‘A Thanksgiving’, and the seasonally-appropriate conclusion to ‘For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio’.
The panel reads and surveys three poems by Longfellow: ‘The Cross of Snow’, ‘The Day Is Done’, and ‘Excelsior’, and makes a case for Longfellow’s narrative and emotive expression, in contrast to modern critical demands for abstraction and complexity.
The panel looks at three poems by Dickinson (nos. 280, 311, and 712) which all centre on a theme of mortality and endings, and discusses their important relevance to modern life, with its focus on perpetual youth and its delusions of immortality.
The panel examines four poems by William Blake from Songs of Innocence (Night, The Chimney Sweeper) and Songs of Experience (The Chimney Sweeper, A Poison Tree), and discusses Blake’s mysticism, child-like wonder, and poetic depictions of Christianity.
The panel examines ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ and ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ by Keats, focusing on the role of transience, mortality, stasis, truth, beauty, and nature–and imagining whether Keats frames his poems within an ‘epistemology of aesthetics’.
The panel discusses two ‘sleep poems’ of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: “Sleepless Dreams” from The House of Life, and the early poem “My Sister’s Sleep”, with special attention, for composition purposes, given to the formal structure of the two poems.
The panel begins a fortnight-long feature on the Rossettis with an examination of Christina Georgina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’, including a reading of most of the poem with focus on the poem’s elusive metaphors and multiple potential readings.
The panel concludes their reading of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Christabel” by considering the function of Leoline’s overabundant grief, examining the nature of Geraldine’s magical influence, and speculating about possible conclusions to the poem.