Making Poems and Their Meanings
Desmond Graham reflects in three lectures on how poems are nourished and how reading can grow.
Opening the Door celebrates the unsung companions essential to the nourishment of poetry: the thoughtful friend, or the clear-headed reader on whom all writers depend; the spirits of the dead in the texts we read, or the labouring scholarly editors.
The Unheard Prompter demonstrates how poets can control meaning through formal elements: from Shakespeare's voice held in the iambs of his sonnets, to Wordsworth's arguing pronouns; from Herbert's irresistible orchestra, to the problems of punctuation in Gurney.
No Less Than Bread asks how does the poet write, thinking poetry a lie? How does poetry sustain the poet through impossibility? How does poetry, which solves nothing, offer a way of answering? Starting with Rozewicz and Radnoti, and moving from post-war European poetry back to David Jones and In Parenthesis, this final lecture asks what poems mean, what knowledge they carry, and how do we read them to find out?
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