Monthly Archives: February 2013

THE WOODSPURGE: ALL THOUGHT EXHAUSTED

Today’s poem is by the “Pre-Raphaelite” poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882).  It is made essentially of two elements, one objective (giving a straight description of something) and the other subjective (giving a personal interpretation of something).  The first three stanzas … Continue reading

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WHEN I WAS ONE-AND-TWENTY: PAID FOR IN PAIN

Romance is a very strange thing. It is a kind of psychological obsession with another person — an obsession so strong that it gives that other person control over whether the obsessed is happy or unhappy.  It gives one soaring … Continue reading

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THE SANITY OF INDIVIDUALS, THE MADNESS OF CROWDS: EMILY DICKINSON

In spite of her cleverness and uniqueness, I have never been very fond of the poetry of Emily Dickinson, though I respect it for what it is.  I know she has earned her own place in the history of poetry, … Continue reading

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PASSING IT ON: THE “BEAUTIFUL MUSIC” LIST

“In view of the importance of the role that music plays in life, one must stress once more that it is veritable magic, capable of abasing and degrading the person listening to it, or exalting and elevating him to the … Continue reading

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THEY ARE NOT LONG, THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES: THE BRIEF LIFE OF ERNEST DOWSON

Today’s poem is by Ernest Dowson (1867-1900).  Merely discussing him is a sad matter, because, like Sebastian Flyte in Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited, Dowson was both a student at Oxford for a time and a severe alcoholic whose life ended … Continue reading

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ON WENLOCK EDGE: THE GALE OF LIFE AND EMOTION

Today we turn again to one of my favorite poets, Alfred Edward Housman, and to his poem On Wenlock Edge. It is not a difficult poem, but we shall need to make sure we understand Housman’s vocabulary in order to … Continue reading

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