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In this programme Graham Martin, Reader in Literature at the Open University, looks in detail at three short lyric poems and at part of a fourth. His aim is to reinforce the point that poems demand... a special attention - that the feelings they arouse are based on and controlled by the literal detail chosen by the poet. Response is worthless without close reading. But there is no correct single response to a poem: to emphasise this point three guests - Baroness Lee of Asheridge, George Melly and the poet Patricia Beer - are shown responding spontaneously after reading the poems discussed by Mr. Martin. The poems are "So We'll Go No More A Roving" by Byron, "Love" by George Herbert, "After Great Pain" by Emily Dickinson and stanza five of "An Arundel Tomb" by Philip Larkin.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A101, An arts foundation course
Item code: A101; 07
First transmission date: 05-04-1978
Published: 1978
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:30
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Producer: Nuala O'Faolain
Contributors: Patricia Beer; Yoo-Jean Lee; Graham Martin; George Melly
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): 'After Great Pain'; 'An Arundel Tomb'; Byron; 'Descent from the cross'; Emily Dickinson; George Herbert; 'Love'; Philip Larkin; Poetry; Rubens; 'So we'll go no more a-roving'
Footage description: Graham Martin introduces the programme with some comments about reading and understanding poetry. Byron's poem 'So we'll go no more a-roving' is then both read out and displayed on the screen. Martin analyses the poem in detail, over displays of different parts of it. George Melly, Jennie Lee and Patricia Beer then express brief and widely differing opinions of the poem. Martin discusses the way in which poetry creates images. To illustrate his argument a shimmering tinsel backdrop is shown in close-up and from a distance, and Rubens painting Descent from the Cross is shown. The latter is examined in detail, and is compared with poetic imagery. Stanza five of Philip Larkin's poem 'An Arundel Tomb' is read over both the text of the poem and a still of the tomb in question. Martin compares the imagery of this stanza with stills of the church yard that is referred to, and talks about how Larkin obtains his effects. George Herbert's poem 'Love' is both read out and displayed on the screen. Beer, Melly and Lee then give their opinion of the poem. Martin discussess the poem's rhythmic pattern, with the help of displays of sections of it. Reading of Emily Dickinson's poem 'After Great Pain' with the text on the screen. Melly, Lee and Beer all comment on the poem in some detail. Martin adds his view of it, and concludes with further advice on how to read poems.
Master spool number: 6HT/72733
Production number: 00525_3442
Videofinder number: 1895
Available to public: no