What Makes A Great Poem? Autobiographical Elements in Poetry with Charlotte Moore - Context Travel

What Makes A Great Poem? Autobiographical Elements in Poetry with Charlotte Moore


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Why do some poems resonate in the individual and collective consciousness when many thousands of others fall by the wayside? This seminar examines the special ingredients making up those poems that so triumphantly withstand the test of time.

In this session, we will explore why poets invite readers into their private spaces and examine how transient personal events are turned into great and permanent art. Ranging from love and sex to faith to loss and failure, the four chosen poems edit and shape autobiography to create frameworks by which the most intense human experiences can be shared.

The English language has a vast vocabulary, fed through the centuries by the languages and dialects of the conquerors and the conquered. This makes it a fertile seedbed for poetry; indeed, our poetic heritage is unrivaled, and it influences us more than we realize. As one of the featured poets, Shelley, put it, "poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”

This is the first in a four-part series. In each session, we will discuss four poems, thematically linked, all written in English, spanning five centuries. We will place each poem in its historical and biographical context, then explain why they are regarded as "great.” We will talk about vocabulary, subject matter, imagery, structure, rhyme or its absence, rhythm, word order, and more. The aim is to enhance enjoyment, appreciation, and emotional and aesthetic response to poetry without being academic. Participants with knowledge and no knowledge of poetry are equally welcome to attend!

Led by a writer and expert on English literature, Charlotte Moore, this interactive seminar will explore poetry in many of its forms. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of many classic poems and why they are considered “great.”

Chosen poems for this session:

  • They Flee From Me by Sir Thomas Wyatt
  • The Sun Rising by John Donne
  • Love by George Herbert
  • One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

  • Participants will be provided with a handout of each poem before the session.

    This conversation is part of a four-part series on poetry with Charlotte Moore. Each session is designed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of a four-week series.

    Charlotte Moore has loved poetry ever since she can remember. After reading English Literature at Oxford University, she taught in schools before becoming a writer and journalist. She has published four novels, four historical books for children, George and Sam, a memoir of family life with her autistic sons, and Hancox: A House and a Family, a social history based on her 500-year-old house in rural Sussex, England. Her most recent book is The Magic Hour: 100 Poems From The Tuesday Afternoon Poetry Club, an anthology based on the poetry discussion group she runs. She has written widely for newspapers and magazines. She is an experienced speaker at conferences and literary festivals.

    This conversation is suitable for all ages

    90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 10 reviews
    100%
    (10)
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    Highly Recommend

    Guest did not leave comment

    A
    A.

    Great presentation. So much to appreciate. Felt like I have been given a key to understanding the highlighted poems. I will be signing up for her other 3 poetry seminars.

    P
    P.
    What makes a great poem—with Charlotte Moore

    Excellent exploration of four great poems. Charlotte Moore makes them come alive. Her method: brief intro of the poet and situation behind his/her writing of the poem at hand, then reading the poem aloud, then providing a brief critique to heighten understanding and appreciation, and addressing audience comments/questions.

    A
    A.
    Open your mind to poetry

    Great presentation. So much to appreciate. Felt like I have been given a key to understanding the highlighted poems. I will be signing up for her other 3 poetry seminars.

    J
    J.
    Dipping Your Toe into British Verse

    This was the first seminar in a series on poetry with Charlotte Moore. I enjoyed her knowledge on each poet's life and circumstances. Her "readings" of the poems (both literally and figuratively) were straight forward and insightful. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 10 reviews
    100%
    (10)
    0%
    (0)
    0%
    (0)
    0%
    (0)
    0%
    (0)
    S
    S.
    Highly Recommend

    Guest did not leave comment

    A
    A.

    Great presentation. So much to appreciate. Felt like I have been given a key to understanding the highlighted poems. I will be signing up for her other 3 poetry seminars.

    P
    P.
    What makes a great poem—with Charlotte Moore

    Excellent exploration of four great poems. Charlotte Moore makes them come alive. Her method: brief intro of the poet and situation behind his/her writing of the poem at hand, then reading the poem aloud, then providing a brief critique to heighten understanding and appreciation, and addressing audience comments/questions.

    A
    A.
    Open your mind to poetry

    Great presentation. So much to appreciate. Felt like I have been given a key to understanding the highlighted poems. I will be signing up for her other 3 poetry seminars.

    J
    J.
    Dipping Your Toe into British Verse

    This was the first seminar in a series on poetry with Charlotte Moore. I enjoyed her knowledge on each poet's life and circumstances. Her "readings" of the poems (both literally and figuratively) were straight forward and insightful. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.