The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

27 Mar 2011

The Poetry Station

The Poetry Station website shows a collection of video recorded poems. Browsing through it for a while in the late hours of this Sunday evening, I've listened to some poems of varied styles and topics that, for some reason or other, have drawn my attention. These are three of them:

Listen Mr Oxford Don. I had read the poem before in Evolving English by David Crystal. This linguist chose this text to comment on the "ownership" of English.
"The reality is that anyone who has taken the trouble to learn English can be said to have a stake in it -- and that means around a third of the world's population."

The Rain It Raineth. I knew the song from an old record I bought years ago but I had never thought of its meaning. The Wikipedia interprets that the line "The rain it raineth every day" suggests that "every day brings some kind of misery". Other people read Feste's song as a statement that "even as a person goes through life, with its various ups and downs, he or she must remember that at any time one can end up in an unfamiliar place with a completely different life". Harold Bloom gives a slightly different explanation when he comments it from a popular and erotic point of view.

A Lecture Upon the Shadow was entirely new to me. I liked the poem and the reading.


  1. "A Lecture upon the Shadow" used to be one of my chosen poems for my literature class on John Donne. It is highly autobiographical, I think, and addressed to his wife. I like the passionate all-or-nothingism of "and his first minute after noon is night". As to Feste's song, I agree both with Wikipedia and with Bloom: it's (between the lines) about a (male) man´s life, and the "little thing" that makes him a man- a curious ending for a play about sexual ambiguity and transvestism, it's all about "to have or have not" but the song is rather skeptical about masculinity.

  2. Thank you for the comment, José Ángel.