children listenting to poetry poetry

Poetry appreciation

LONDON WC2A: Drinking at the Fountains

Date: 10 October 2017
Time:  6.45-8pm
Price: £8 OR £5 CONCESSIONS, FULL-TIME STUDENTS FREE
Venue address: THE LINCOLN CENTRE, 18 LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS, LONDON WC2A 3ED

This talk will explore the origins and development of the poetic imagination, from prehistoric shamanism and the Songlines of Aboriginal communities to the Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer, Sappho, Horace, Old English riddle poems and the Romantic poets. 

The idea of being touched by the divine, of waiting for a supra-personal source of inspiration was traditionally expressed as the Muse. The Romantic poets claimed the Muse as their own – Coleridge, for example, in ‘To the Muse’, says that it was a conduit to his inner feelings. But then the cold winds of modernism swept in and T.S. Eliot referred to it as a ‘hackneyed metaphor’. Yet do poets ignore the reality of the Muse at their peril? Does it provide a link to our prehistoric shamanic ancestors, and a way of accessing what Yeats called ‘the universal mind’ or what Ted Hughes called ‘the elemental power circuit of the universe’? 

The talk will argue that the Muse is central to the poetic imagination, and that waiting rather than willing is the key to the creative process.

JAMES HARPUR read English Literature at Cambridge and is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent Angels and Harvesters (Anvil Press, 2012). He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish academy of the arts, and Poetry Editor of the Temenos Academy Review. "

Contact:
 E temenosacademy@myfastmail.com T 01233 813663

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