Critical Readings examines key literary texts using close reading and critical analysis, and explains these approaches in discussion. Listeners will learn about the texts themselves and about how to approach a text for critical analysis.
CR Episode 104: Form and Detail in the Poetry of Richard Wilbur
The panel reads four poems by Richard Wilbur, "Love Calls Us to the Things of This World", "A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra", "Mind", and "Year's End", particularly examining the intricacy of their details and their formal attributes.
CR Episode 103: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Songs of Travel
The panel traces themes of wanderlust, resignation, wistfulness, lonliness, and fatalism in six poems excerpted from Stevenson's Songs of Travel, including "The Vagabond", "Bright Is the Ring of Words," "Whither Must I Wander", and "The Woodman".
CR Episode 102: Thomas Wyatt in the Tudor Court
The panel reads four poems by the Tudor poet and courtier Thomas Wyatt, whose misfortunes in the Henrician court (not least of all two imprisonments) are traced in sonnets and other verse including "Whoso List to Hunt" and "Innocentia Veritas Viat Fides".
CR Episode 101: Sylvia Plath
The panel reads three poems by Sylvia Plath, "Tulips", "Lady Lazarus", and "Daddy", tracing in them themes of self-annihilation, and analysing references to her depression and to the conflicted relationships she had with her father and husband.
CR Episode 100: Shakespeare’s Sonnets
The panel reads a selection of sonnets by William Shakespeare, and considers their Symposium-like comparisons and contrasts of the different kinds and representations of love, in terms ranging from eloquent to earthy, and from concrete to abstract.
CR Episode 99: Hero and Leander
The panel reads Christopher Marlowe's most famous poem, Hero and Leander, discussing its rich and provocative imagery, classical allusions, and levels of metaphor, and addressing the scholarly opinion of the apparently unfinished state of the work.
One of my favorite podcasts. Please, keep ‘em coming!
The analysis is a wonderful guide through the text, the conversation is fun and interesting, and the selections are very accessible. Excellent podcasting!
Top of the line
Truly wonderful and erudite conversation! I’d say it’s a necessity for any serious teacher or student of the classics. I’ll be tuning in each time.