Poetry For All

Finding Our Way Into Great Poems

About the show

This podcast is for those who already love poetry and for those who know very little about it. In this podcast, we read a poem, discuss it, see what makes it tick, learn how it works, grow from it, and then read it one more time.

Introducing our brand new Poetry For All website: https://poetryforallpod.com! Please visit the new website to learn more about our guests, search for thematic episodes (ranging from Black History Month to the season of autumn), and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Episodes

  • Episode 29: Elizabeth Bishop, One Art

    October 6th, 2021  |  Season 3  |  25 mins 16 secs
    20th century, grief and loss, lgbtqia month, love, rhymed verse, villanelle, women's history month
  • Episode 28: Countee Cullen, Yet Do I Marvel

    September 29th, 2021  |  Season 3  |  24 mins 48 secs
    20th century, anger, black history month, christianity, guest on the show, harlem renaissance, rhymed verse, social justice and advocacy, sonnet, surprise

    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.

  • Episode 27: Marianne Moore, Poetry

    September 22nd, 2021  |  Season 3  |  21 mins 11 secs
    20th century, ars poetica, christianity, modernism, rhymed verse, women's history month

    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).

  • Episode 26: Brenda C├írdenas, "Our Lady of Sorrows"

    September 15th, 2021  |  Season 3  |  21 mins 44 secs
    21st century, ekphrasis, erasure, free verse, grief and loss, guest on the show, hispanic heritage month, nature poetry, social justice and advocacy, spirituality, visual poetry, word and image

    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.

  • Episode 25: William Carlos Williams, "This is Just to Say"

    September 8th, 2021  |  Season 3  |  18 mins 13 secs
    20th century, free verse, modernism, surprise, wonder

    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.

  • Episode 24: Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays

    June 14th, 2021  |  Season 2  |  20 mins 49 secs
    20th century, aging, black history month, children, father's day, gratitude, love, sonnet, surprise, winter, wonder
  • Episode 23: Langston Hughes, "Johannesburg Mines"

    May 21st, 2021  |  Season 2  |  19 mins 29 secs
    20th century, anger, black history month, free verse, grief and loss, laborers, modernism, repetition or refrain, social justice and advocacy

    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.'"

  • Episode 22: Two Poems of World War I

    April 27th, 2021  |  Season 2  |  24 mins 43 secs
    20th century, grief and loss, guest on the show, modernism, rhymed verse, sonnet, veteran's day

    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.

  • Episode 21: Christian Wiman, I Don't Want to Be a Spice Store

    April 13th, 2021  |  Season 2  |  18 mins 45 secs
    21st century, children, father's day, free verse, guest on the show, 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.

  • Episode 20: Hester Pulter, View But This Tulip

    March 29th, 2021  |  Season 2  |  25 mins 44 secs
    17th century, christianity, guest on the show, hope, rhymed verse, science and medicine, spirituality

    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.

  • Episode 19: Naomi Shihab Nye, Gate A-4

    March 9th, 2021  |  Season 2  |  18 mins 59 secs
    21st century, hope, joy, narrative, social justice and advocacy, spirituality, surprise, wonder

    Remember airports? In this wonderful, narrative poem, Nye speaks of the remarkable capacity for community in a world of strangers.

  • Episode 18: Jenny Johnson, Dappled Things

    March 2nd, 2021  |  Season 2  |  27 mins 25 secs
    21st century, gratitude, guest on the show, joy, lgbtqia month, nature poetry, thanksgiving, wonder

    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.

  • Episode 17: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pied Beauty

    February 23rd, 2021  |  Season 2  |  14 mins 35 secs
    19th century, alliterative verse, gratitude, joy, nature poetry, rhymed verse, sonnet, thanksgiving, wonder

    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.

  • Episode 16: John Milton, When I Consider How My Light is Spent

    February 15th, 2021  |  Season 2  |  15 mins 57 secs
    17th century, aging, anger, body in pain, christianity, grief and loss, hope, rhymed verse, sonnet, surprise

    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.

  • Episode 15: Amanda Gorman, Chorus of the Captains

    February 9th, 2021  |  Season 2  |  17 mins 56 secs
    21st century, alliterative verse, black history month, free verse, gratitude, narrative, social justice and advocacy

    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.

  • Episode 14: George Herbert, The Collar

    February 1st, 2021  |  Season 2  |  18 mins 24 secs
    17th century, anger, christianity, narrative, restlessness, rhymed verse, spirituality, surprise

    In this episode, we look at "The Collar"--a famous single-stanza poem, playing with meter, rhythm, and rhyme by the seventeenth-century priest and poet, George Herbert.