The phrase I’ve used as a title for this talk is from Wordsworth, who’s thinking here about how subjective perception is, and how our expectations, values and emotions shape what we see and hear. A central part of poetry’s work is the attempt to capture in language something of how it feels to be alive. How does that happen? Through every aspect of the poet’s craft, of course — but one key element is the representation of perception. In this talk we’ll look at some exemplary poems that model consciousness by revealing perception as a dynamic process, and wind up showing us as much about the observer as the observed.
News from the Middle Way with Kwame Dawes
So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years—
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Grounded in a close reading of a passage from T.S. Eliot’s “East Coker”, Dawes ekes out hidden and exposed lessons about the life and practice of poetry and art as a poet might encounter it in the peculiar moment in history that we have come upon.
Q & A, facilitated by Festival Staff, and virtual book signings in Murder On The Beach, our Festival Virtual Bookstore, will follow the craft talks. Tickets will be available for purchase soon on our website.