Category: Poetry

  • The Theme of Regret in Thomas Hardy’s Poetry

    One of Thomas Hardy’s most powerful themes is, as Joanna Cullen Brown puts it, that ‘one awakes to understanding too late’. Many of his poems cover this territory, but take the Self Unseeing as an example: Here is the ancient floor, Footworn and hollowed and thin, Here was the former door Where the dead feet […]

  • Thomas Hardy’s Poems 1912-13: Ghosts, Memory and the Presence of the Past

    Throughout Thomas Hardy’s Poems of 1912-13, written after the sudden death of his first wife and originally published in the volume Satires of Circumastance, there’s a dominant theme of ‘haunting’, in both the supernatural and the psychological sense. Often this is a direct allusion, such as in the poem The Haunter, where the ghost of […]

  • Terry Eagleton on William Blake: Sex, Art and Transformation

    Whatever you think of Terry Eagleton, he always makes for a provocative read. His piece on Blake at the Guardian Unlimited provides fascinating perspective on one of history’s greatest poets: Terry Eagleton: The original political vision: sex, art and transformation. See sample quote below: Blake, however, was not enamoured of the third way. The New […]

  • Free Download: The Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke

    Click on this link for a downloadable PDF of a complete translation of Rilke’s Duino Elegies by Tony Kline: rilke-duinoelegies.pdf. This is provided by A.S. Kline’s Poetry in Translation archive, and is free for non-commercial use. You can also go to this site to read Robert Hunter’s translation of the Duino Elegies.

  • Analysis: Second Glance at a Jaguar by Ted Hughes

    Much of Ted Hughes’s early animal poetry is an attempt to capture the ‘Real’ in nature. Here he is not concerned with the effect of nature on man’s sensibilities but with ‘the thing itself’. One of his most successful poems in this respect is Second Glance at a Jaguar. The poem literally gets under the […]

  • Audio: Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, A Marriage

    Diane Middlebrook, the author of Hughes and Plath: A Marriage, discusses her book, and the influence that these two great poets had on each other and their work, in a podcast produced by Stanford University. It’s well worth listening to for an understanding of the context of their poetry, as well as providing an insight […]

  • Video: A Tribute to the Poet Ted Hughes


  • Analysis: The Hawk In The Rain by Ted Hughes

    As we came to approach the poetry of Ted Hughes for this month’s Culture Club, I wondered what it was that had led me to neglect him. Like a lot of people, I first encountered Hughes at school, but he’s not a poet that I’ve ever felt compelled to go back to since those early […]

  • Analysis: Sandpiper by Elizabeth Bishop

    Elizabeth Bishop’s Sandpiper is concerned with the particular. Through a controlled tightening of focus, like the turn of the lens on a telescope, Bishop draws our attention ever closer to the minutiae of existence, of which the bird is solely conscious: from the water glazing over its feet, to its toes, to the spaces between […]

  • The Culture Club: Theme For July-October 2007

    We’ve got a big gap between meetings, mainly due to holidays and other commitments. For the next few months, then, we’ll be looking at a group of poets, including Ted Hughes and Emily Dickinson. So far the only confirmed works are the following poems by Elizabeth Bishop: The Moose Sandpiper One Art The Shampoo Arrival […]