Friday, December 30, 2011

The Poets' Corner

What shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
~ William Blake

On our Christmas travels, we brought two CDs for the car rides. The first, alas, was broken, but the second came through for us. It was John Lithgow's The Poets' Corner. In it, Lithgow talks about his favorite poets and their lives, and his friends (who include Helen Mirren and Billy Connolly) read a poem by each. Lithgow's descriptions of the poets' lives and explanations of what the poems mean to him were very interesting.

The bios are in alphabetical order and we only made it from A-C! (It's 6 cds!) Some of my favorites were Robert Burns, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Lewis Carroll. Having a copy in the car should help with a lot of traffic jams and long car rides.

Language and ideas from poets are part of our culture in ways we don't realize. It was fun during Burns' To A Mouse to see my 16yo recognize the line about "the best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men."

Here's a striking video inspired by William Blake's The Tyger (another poem featured on The Poets' Corner):

The Drift Record is our Poetry Friday host this week.


maria horvath said...

"Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?"

This is so striking in its imagery! It captures exactly what Blake was describing.

All the best for a Happy and Peaceful Year ahead, Tabatha.

Tara said...

I've always loved this poem - and that video is astonishing. I'll have to save this for my students. Thanks for sharing...and happy new year!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Happy New Year, Tabatha--

I've always rather suspected John Lithgow since that squirrel book, so it's good to know that his poetry credentials are authentic. : ) The video is fantastic--will be sharing with my 9 yo.

I hope your holiday travels were fun, and let's see about getting together in January.

GatheringBooks said...

Happy Happy New Year, Tabatha! I've been addicted to the series The Mentalist for quite a while now - and this poem by William Blake "Tyger tyger" prefigures immensely in the series. :) I'm glad you shared this with us. :)