Monday, 24 February 2014

Poems, by Robert Browning

Why I read it: Western Canon

Podcasts: Stuff you missed in history class

Brow: High, especially after I discovered that although the copy I borrowed from the library was purchased in 1907, some of the pages had never been cut apart.

Preferred Poems: Of course I've read different versions of The Pied Piper of Hamelin before, but this one bears reading. I also quite enjoyed The Flight of the Duchess. I think I might just be the type who enjoys narrative poetry and isn't so much into finding the similarities between say, a Grecian urn and the poet's underage male lover.

Less Loved Poems: Clearly any collection of Browning's poems ought to include My Last Duchess and this one does not, and so I wondered if perhaps one of the poems about ancient Greece might have been replaced.

But should you read it? If poetry is not your thing, but you feel you should at least be trying to access your civilization's heritage, than Browing is a fairly easy, accessible entry point for you. If you've acknowledged that not reading poetry marks you as a philistine and have taken up the hobby, Browning's works should definitely be on your list.

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