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The English Romantic Poets & the French Revolution

(Between Bank & Bethune),
Phone: 212-242-4201

Wednesday, February 7
The English Romantic Poets & the French Revolution

Mocking the stereotype that translates “romantic” into “utopian” or “love possessed,” Dorothy Parker wrote: Byron and Shelley and Keats, A trio of lyrical feats – Byron’s fair brow was cerclustered with curls And Shelley walked out with a number of girls And Keats was never descended from earls. Which doesn’t detract from the lyrical feats Of Byron and Shelley And Byron and Shelley And Byron and Shelley and Keats.

It is of course true that all three wrote a number of memorable love poems. But by actual count Byron wrote far more satire that love poetry, Shelley wrote many more lines about the revolution than about love, and Keats declared “None can usurp this height… But those to whom the miseries of the world Are miseries, and will not let them rest” and, in the midst of his rapture on the grecian urn, remembered a world where “youth grows specter thin” and dies.

These and the long-neglected master of metaphor, William Blake, are a too-often forgotten part of our left heritage. We will read some of their great poetry together and explore the relation of poetry to propaganda and pleasure.

This class will meet at the home of Dr. Annette T. Rubinstein, author of The Great Tradition in English Literature: From Shakespeare to Shaw. Please call the Brecht Forum office at 212-242-4201 for advance registration and location information.

Sliding scale: $75-$95
Monday, February 12
5:30-7:30 pm

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