In this third part of the four-part series on The Waste Land, by T. S. Eliot, the panel reads “The Fire Sermon” and discusses cities both real and unreal, and how the abnegation of all human desire leads to the hollowing out of the psyche.
The panel continues with the second of a four-part series on The Waste Land, by T. S. Eliot, reading “A Game of Chess”, with special attention given to the idea of death and rebirth, and to the presence and significance of baptismal imagery.
The panel embarks upon a four-week study of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, beginning with a discussion of the allusive connexions and the imagistic and modernist effects of the poem’s opening epigram and its first section, “The Burial of the Dead”.
The panel reads a selection of the poety of the seventeenth-century, Welsh, metaphysical poet, Henry Vaughan, with a particular attention to Vaughan’s own religious beliefs, philosophical positions, and connexions to Ben Jonson and George Herbert.
The panel reads a selection of verses from Owen Meredith–Robert Bulwer-Lytton, Earl of Lytton–an eminent Victorian statesman and poet, including an excerpt from the second part of his long, anapestic epic, “Lucile”, and two shorter poems.
The panel reads the poetry of Robert Graves, from his early war poetry to the work of his later life, with special attention to his theory of The White Goddess, including “A Dead Boche”, “A Boy in Church”, “The God Called Poetry” and “The Spoilsport”.
The panel reads two Pope’s ‘An Essay on Man’ and Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’ in conversation with one another–looking at the similarities of their conclusions and the difference in their approaches–as they address the roles of Man, Nature, and God.
The panel reads a selection of three poems by Conrad Aiken–“The Room”, “Exile”, and “Goya”–and discusses their dreamlike imagery, and the impact of personal tragedy, English Romanticism, and Freudian and Jungian theories, upon Aiken’s poetry.
Following on the theme of love and death, the panel reads Milton’s pastoral elegy, “Lycidas”, dedicated to the memory of Edward King, with special attention to Milton’s theology and his critique of both the contemporary English clergy and community.
For St. Valentine’s Day, the panel reads what is likely to have been Shakespeare’s first officially published work: his genre-defying Tragi-Comi-Ovidian poem “Venus and Adonis”, dedicated to his patron, Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton.
The panel concludes “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” with an examination of the poem’s liminal spaces, an evaluation of Gawain’s moral virtue, a discussion on the nature of courage, and questions about the role of community in the act of contrition.
The panel reads the third part of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, with particular attention to the juxtaposition of the forest hunting, killing, and skinning/gutting scenes with those of courtly love in the luxurious bedchamber of Sir Gawain.