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 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.
The panel welcomes James Smoker, a Coleridge scholar at the University of St. Andrews, to discuss Coleridge, Christian Theology, the British Romantics, and the first part of Christabel.
The panel discusses theological readings of three of Coleridge’s most famous poems, all of which share the occasion of sleep as central to their action: ‘Kubla Khan; or, the Vision in a Dream’; ‘The Pains of Sleep’; and, ‘This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison’.
The panel discusses the second half of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, with particular attention given to the theology of the Mariner’s sin, contrition, and absolution, and the relation of that theology to and within the Romantic conception of Nature.
The panel discusses the first three parts of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, proposing the Ancient Mariner as a figure in transition from the Enlightenment to Romanticism, and including overviews of Critical moves and an analogy to T. S. Eliot.