Cover art for podcast Elite Literary Book Group Presents Poetry Focus

Elite Literary Book Group Presents Poetry Focus

28 EpisodesProduced by Elite Literary Book GroupWebsite

The Elite Literary Book Group is dedicated to helping students and teachers and readers to re-encounter the wisdom of literature and find meaningful ways to integrate that encounter into their lives. The Poetry Focus podcast presents poems along with a particular focus point for readers to begin an … read more

28 Episodes | 2019 - 2020

Poetry Focus Podcast #27: Audience and Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess"

October 6th, 2020


Who else is listening in on a poem besides us as a reader? Today we look at Robert Browning's dramatic monologue "My Last Duchess." The duke in the …

Poetry Focus Podcast #26: Translations and Rilke's "The Panther"

June 30th, 2020


In today's podcast we examine translations and how they can differ. We'll be looking at four different versions of Ranier Maria Rilke's "The Panther." Each of the translations offers a different insight into how the …

Poetry Focus #25: Metaphor and Margaret Atwood's "[you fit into me]"

April 4th, 2020


We take a second look at metaphor in this episode using Margaret Atwood's "[you fit into me]", a deceivingly complex poem. Notice how Atwood uses a very simple structure--two stanzas, each composed of a simple couplet. …

Poetry Focus #24: Imagery and Elizabeth Bishop's "The Fish"

March 30th, 2020


In today's episode we take a look at how imagery can impact the encounter with a poem. If effective, as it is in Bishop's poem, the reader is able to sit alongside the speaker and experience as the speaker the events in …

Poetry Focus #23: Words and Tessimond's "Not Love Perhaps"

March 16th, 2020


Today's poem and talk are about how particular words, placed in particular places within a poem can have a resounding impact on the overall work. …

Poetry Focus #22: Point of View: Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese"

March 14th, 2020


Point of view can be used to move the reader into close communion with a poem. Listen to how Mary Oliver makes this happen in her poem "Wild Geese." Find a copy of the poem as well as other resources at …

Poetry Focus #21: The Elegy and Ben Jonson's "On My First Son"

March 13th, 2020


We continue to explore the poetic firm of the elegy. Ben Jonson's "On My First Son" makes use of the apostrophe to draw the reader into communion with the speaker's grief. Find a copy of the poem and other resources at …

Poetry Focus #20: The Elegy and Tony Harrison's "Timer"

March 13th, 2020


This episode we focus on the elegy as we offer a reading of Tony Harrison's "Timer". Find a copy of the poem as well as a host of other resources for your study of literature and writing at our website …

Poetry Focus #19:Repetition and Shelley's "Prometheus Unbound"

March 12th, 2020


In this episode we look at repetition and how Percy Shelley makes an abundant and unusual use of this concept to create movement in his poem. You can find additional resources on this poem and other literary works at …

Poetry Focus #18: Conceit and Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 130”

October 12th, 2019


In today’s podcast, we explore the metaphor a little deeper as we talk about the conceit. The poetic conceit is an exaggerated form of the metaphor. It stretches the reader to make the imaginative leap to connect the …

Poetry Focus #17: Imagery with Stanley Kunitz's "The Round"

September 22nd, 2019


In today's podcast we take another look at imagery as we read a poem from Stanley Kunitz entitled "The Round." Let's focus on how the poet creates an effective image by adding texture to his work. Travel with the poet's …

Poetry Focus #16: Repetition and Randall Jarrell's "Well Water"

September 19th, 2019


Today's poem is from American poet Randall Jarrell. It's entitled 'Well Water" and speaks really to the repetition of daily life that, despite its inanity at times brings valuable refreshment. Note the use of repeated …

Poetry Focus #15: Structure and Billy Collins' "The Names"

September 19th, 2019


Billy Collins was the Poet Laureate of the United States at the time of 9-11. His poem "The Names" commemorates that event. In a powerful display of …

Poetry Focus #14: Persona and Browning's "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister"

July 24th, 2019


In podcast #14 we revisit the idea of persona through Robert Browning's dramatic monologue "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister." No one creates a …

Poetry Focus #13: Title and Wallace Steven's "The Emperor of Ice-Cream"

July 19th, 2019


The title of a poem is often the first place to start when looking for a clue as to how approach a poem. In today's episode, Wallace Stevens offers us a curious juxtaposition with his title "The Emperor or Ice-cream." …

Poetry Focus #12: Paradox in Herbert's "The Pulley"

July 1st, 2019


Today's episode examines the strategy of paradox in metaphysical poet George Herbert's "The Pulley." Paradox can be understood as the poet's use of …

Poetry Focus #11: Shift and Browning's Porphyria's Lover"

June 24th, 2019


Today's poem takes a look at the effective use of shift by the poet to surprise and completely keep the reader off balance. There's no better place …

Poetry Focus #10: Metaphor and Shakespeare's "Sonnet 30"

June 17th, 2019


Today's podcast takes a closer look at the extended metaphor. In this case it comes courtesy of William Shakespeare's Sonnet 30. In this sonnet, the Bard deals with the grief and sometimes depression associated with …

Poetry Focus #9: Enjambment and Oliver's "The Black Snake"

June 17th, 2019


In this episode we continue our look at enjambment but also look at its use in a more sophisticated way as poet Mary Oliver uses the technique to marry her form with her message. You can find a copy of the poem at our …

Poetry Focus #8: Enjambment and Williams's "Foot-note"

June 17th, 2019


In today's episode we take a look at the concept of enjambment or the intentional use by the poet of punctuation and lack of it to continue on the rhythm of a poem. William Carlos William's "Foot-note" is an excellent, …

Poetry Focus #7: Williams's "This is just to say"

June 15th, 2019


We continue to look at tone in today's focus poem, William Carlos Williams's "This is just to say". As you listen to the poem, pay particular …

Poetry Focus #6: Sound with Cunningham's "Epigram 16"

June 15th, 2019


In our continuing look at sound and how poets use it to create meaning, we'll take a look at J.V. Cunningham's "Epigram 16". In this short poem, pay attention to how Cunningham creates a web of sound, not just with the …

Poetry Focus #5: Sound and Frost's "Stopping by Woods on Snowy Evening"

June 15th, 2019


In today's podcast we focus on the poet's use of sound as a poetic technique. There are numerous specific devices and tools a writer can employ for …

Poetry Focus #4: Hughes's "The Negro Speaks of Rivers"

May 28th, 2019


We focus on metaphor today and use this classic work by Langston Hughes to illustrate how effective an extended metaphor can be. You can check out additional resources to this and other poems on our website: …

Poetry Focus #3: Auden's "The Unknown Citizen"

May 28th, 2019


In today's episode of Poetry Focus, we look at tone in a poem entitled "The Unknown Citizen" by W.H. Auden. Think of tone as the emotional undercurrent or effect a reading of the poem has on the reader.  You can check …

Poetry Focus #2: Goethe's "Erl-King"

May 28th, 2019


In today's Poetry Focus we'll take a look at the speaker or persona in a poem. That identification can open up new possibilities of analysis when written with a poem.  You can check out additional resources to this and …

Poetry Focus #1 Sappho's "Pain"

May 22nd, 2019


Today, we focus on diction and how precision in word choice can make all the difference particularly in short poems. We'll look at the ancient Greek …

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