We are fascinated by language, yet poetry, the art which above all others offers us language at its most beautiful and potent, remains a distinctly minority interest. Few people go to a bookshop to look for a book of poetry.
In this event, author Joe Nutt, who has spent decades teaching and writing about poetry, will talk about some of the poems and poets who have brought him pleasure as a reader and made him think more deeply. He also reflects on why poetry has become a neglected art form. What is it about our culture and society that finds poetry difficult, even embarrassing? How do contemporary poets themselves contribute to this situation? What is wrong with the way poetry is introduced in school, which causes people to turn their backs on it? His conversation will cover famous and not so famous poems, the old and the new and he hopes to convince you to pick up a poetry book next time you are book hunting.
Poems to be considered:
Tom O’Bedlam’s Song – Anonymous ballad from around 1620
Twickenham Garden – John Donne
Cradle Song – William Blake
Adelstrop – Edward Thomas
Song – Christina Rosetti
My Last Duchess – Robert Browning
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner – Randall Jarrell
Famous for What? – Hollie McNish
Between Islands – Roseanne Watt
Joe Nutt is the author of several books about the poetry of Donne, Milton and Shakespeare and a collection of essays, The Point of Poetry: How Poetry Can Teach Us About the Things in Life That Really Matter. His most recent book, Teaching English for the Real World was published in May 2020 by John Catt.