The panel reads the second part of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, and examines the theological significance of the seasons, the detailed military fortifications of Castle Hautdesert, and the appearance of the beautiful Lady Hautdesert.
The panel reads the first part of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, providing an overview of the formal aspects of the poem, the history of the manuscript (Cotton Nero A.x), theories about authorship, and analysis of the poem’s titular, veridian symbolism.
In the first podcast of 2022, the panel reads five poems spanning the entire poetic arc of Langston Hughes, from the famous lines of “I, Too” to the scenes of the “Lincoln Theatre”, before ending with the Christmas message of “Shepherd’s Song”.
The panel reads “The Red Wheelbarrow”, “This Is Just to Say”, and “Gulls” by William Carlos Williams and discusses both their connexion to the Imagist and Modernist movements of the early twentieth century, and their complexity in relation to Minimalism.
The panel reads three of Jonathan Swift’s poems which satirise responses to the inescapable facts of human biology, and focuses on their depictions of privacy and separation, essential human dignity, and cultural attitudes towards sexuality.
The panel reads extended selections from each canto of Sir Walter Scott’s narrative poem, “The Lady of the Lake”, highlighting Scott’s interest in reviving the medieval, the importance of history to his work, and his use of varying poetic forms.
The panel reads a selection of poems by Ted Hughes compassing the scope of his poetic oeuvre, from the early and animalistic imagery of “The Jaguar” to the modernist scenes of “Here Is the Cathedral”, before concluding with the confessional “Last Letter”.
The panel reads four poems by Richard Wilbur, “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World”, “A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra”, “Mind”, and “Year’s End”, particularly examining the intricacy of their details and their formal attributes.
The panel traces themes of wanderlust, resignation, wistfulness, lonliness, and fatalism in six poems excerpted from Stevenson’s Songs of Travel, including “The Vagabond”, “Bright Is the Ring of Words,” “Whither Must I Wander”, and “The Woodman”.
The panel reads four poems by the Tudor poet and courtier Thomas Wyatt, whose misfortunes in the Henrician court (not least of all two imprisonments) are traced in sonnets and other verse including “Whoso List to Hunt” and “Innocentia Veritas Viat Fides”.
The panel reads three poems by Sylvia Plath, “Tulips”, “Lady Lazarus”, and “Daddy”, tracing in them themes of self-annihilation, and analysing references to her depression and to the conflicted relationships she had with her father and husband.
The panel reads a selection of sonnets by William Shakespeare, and considers their Symposium-like comparisons and contrasts of the different kinds and representations of love, in terms ranging from eloquent to earthy, and from concrete to abstract.