October 20th, 2021 | Season 3 | 22 mins 18 secs
ecological crisis, john keats, ode, romanticism, to autumn
John Keats was one of the great British Romanticists. In this episode we talk with Michael Theune and Brian Rejack about one of his last odes, "To Autumn," which has inspired poets ever since it was first composed in 1821. We encourage you to read along with the text of the poem as we talk through its implications for the 21st century and our age of ecological disaster.
October 6th, 2021 | Season 3 | 25 mins 16 secs
formal poetry, loss, villanelle
September 29th, 2021 | Season 3 | 24 mins 48 secs
countee cullen, harlem renaissance, langston hughes, race, religious doubt, sonnet, yet do i marvel
Countee Cullen was a major voice of the Harlem Renaissance. Joined by the renowned cultural critic Gerald Early, we here examine together story of Countee Cullen and the astounding sonnet that opens his main collection of poetry, My Soul's High Song.
September 22nd, 2021 | Season 3 | 21 mins 11 secs
ars poetica, make it new, marianne moore, modernism, poetry
In this episode, we read and discuss the influential modernist poet Marianne Moore and her witty, wonderful poem called "Poetry," a classic ars poetica (a poem about writing poetry).
September 15th, 2021 | Season 3 | 21 mins 44 secs
In this episode, Brenda Cárdenas guides us through a reading of "Our Lady of Sorrows," an ekphrastic poem that is inspired by the work of Ana Mendieta.
September 8th, 2021 | Season 3 | 18 mins 13 secs
modernism, parody, simplicity, this is just to say, william carlos williams
In this episode, we discuss a simple, iconic, "sorry-not sorry" poem from the early age of American modernism, which has taken on new life in the age of Twitter and the pandemic.
June 14th, 2021 | Season 2 | 20 mins 49 secs
family, fatherhood, formalism, metaphor, robert hayden, sonnet, sound, volta
May 21st, 2021 | Season 2 | 19 mins 29 secs
chiastic structure, difficult poetry, harlem renaissance, langston hughes, poetry of witness, social poetics, trauma
In this episode, we discuss social poetics, poetry of witness, and the places where poetry speaks loudly of silence -- where language fails in the face of trauma. "The worst is not, so long as we can say, 'This is the worst.'"
April 27th, 2021 | Season 2 | 24 mins 43 secs
ivor gurney, modernism, nationalism, ptsd, rupert brooke, shell shock, the soldier, to his love, war, world war i
In this episode, we talk with Vince Sherry about two poems of WWI: Rupert Brooke's "The Soldier" and Ivor Gurney's "To His Love." The first poem, a stately beauty, imagines war almost peacefully; the second poem, scarred by combat, speaks back nervously and angrily. We talk through this remarkable set of poems and experiences and examine how a careful use of language conveys their effects.
April 13th, 2021 | Season 2 | 18 mins 45 secs
accessibility, chaos, christian wiman, i don't want to be a spice store, levity, order, poetry book, structure, surprise
In this episode we talk with Christian Wiman about the arc of a book of poetry, the structure of an individual poem, the desire for openness and accessibility, and the surprising shifts from levity to seriousness that take even the writer by surprise.
March 29th, 2021 | Season 2 | 25 mins 44 secs
bodily resurrection, early modern women, emblem, hester pulter, immortality, pulter project, religion, science, tulip
Wendy Wall joins us to discuss an extraordinary poet whose works went unknown for over three hundred years. Hester Pulter brought together science, religion, poetic traditions and so much more. Her 120 remarkable poems are now available at the award-winning Pulter Project website.
March 9th, 2021 | Season 2 | 18 mins 59 secs
airport, community, cultural encounter, kindness, naomi shihab nye, narrative poem, translation
Remember airports? In this wonderful, narrative poem, Nye speaks of the remarkable capacity for community in a world of strangers.
March 2nd, 2021 | Season 2 | 27 mins 25 secs
In this episode, Jenny Johnson discusses the sources of inspiration for her poem "Dappled Things," her love of Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the incredible diversity--and fragility--of the natural world.
February 23rd, 2021 | Season 2 | 14 mins 35 secs
curtal sonnet, gerard manley hopkins, jesuit exercise, pied beauty, praise
In this extraordinary curtal sonnet (a shortened sonnet, curtailed), Hopkins packs immense power. He uses the shortened form to heighten the emotion, drawing himself up short in the end with nothing else that can be said other than "Praise him." This week, we walk through these short lines and unfold some of the ways that Hopkins works.
February 15th, 2021 | Season 2 | 15 mins 57 secs
blindness, john milton, religious despair, sonnet, theology, wait, when i consider how my light is spent
The episode explores Milton's great sonnet spun from the difficulties of middle age and new disappointments. We consider how he pulls consolation from his sense of defeat and near despair. Faced with his coming blindness, he hears the voice of Patience giving him the strength to wait.
February 9th, 2021 | Season 2 | 17 mins 56 secs
alliteration, amanda gorman, audience, chorus of the captains, football, genre, media, occasional poetry, super bowl
Amanda Gorman became the first poet ever to perform at the Super Bowl on February 7, 2021. In this episode we talk about poetry for the masses, mass media, genres of poetry, spoken word, the visual and the verbal, and the mix of ancient methods with emergent forms.