Public Lectures: Friday, January 12
In Canon Lounge, Gladfelter
Friday, January 12 MAURICE MANNING: How to Build a Haunted
10:00 AM Fellowship Hall House: Or, Tell Me a Story About Farming, Ceremony, and Poetry in Motion
Longer, ambitious poems, while stunning in their presentation and apparent singularity, are nevertheless composed of smaller elements. These smaller elements, whether the metrical line, a conventional stanza, a free-verse arrangement of lines, or simply an accumulation of lines followed by open space on the page, constitute poetic form, in general terms. A sonnet or a villanelle is a specific form. This lecture is interested in discussing poetic form more broadly, and implies the notion that form is not simply an arrangement of material, but is, in fact, a living thing, a generative feature of the poem itself. To make elements of a poem consciously formal is a ceremonial act, it sets them apart and signals their importance. The formal elements of a poem are not merely stately, however; they become vital, and are therefore always in motion, shifting and hovering and resonating beyond the static meaning of words. There is a vibrant living thing below or above the poem, in other words, and this lecture is an attempt to articulate that fact! This poetic fact finds a kindred spirit in farming, namely, the pasturing of livestock and the required motions of a healthy farm. Farmers and farm-familiar poets will be invoked. Our primary text will be Robert Penn Warren’s long poem, Audubon: A Vision. Those attending this lecture will be invited to read this poem in advance, but relevant sections of it, and the complete versions of other poems discussed will be provided.
Public Graduating Student Readings
Friday, January 12—4:30 PM, Fellowship Hall; followed by graduation ceremony
Sonya Larson, Carlos Andres Bates-Gómez, Kristin Hewitt, Meghan Williams