Anthology: Is Poetry Important?, & Poems by Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, Virgil, R. S. Thomas – Human Voices Wake Us
An episode from 1/1/22: The first eleven minutes of this episode are probably the best job I’ve done yet, talking about poetry’s lagging popularity these days. For those would like to reverse this trend, I suggest that we ought to study the kinds of poetry that did have an immediate, popular, and lasting influence. Taking a look at why certain forms of folklore and myth last is also a good idea.
In part, I’m responding to a remark from a poet whose tweet seems to have garnered more attention than she ever wished for. For this reason, I don’t name the poet who wrote the tweet, or link to it, because I don’t think it was meant to mistaken as a “public pronouncement.”
As with other “Anthology” episodes, I then move on to read a handful of poems, each succeeding poem being older than the one before it:
- “Affinity,” by R. S. Thomas (1913-2000)
- #1142, by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
- Sonnet #27, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
- from The Aeneid, Book 6, by Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC) (translated by Allen Mandelbaum)
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