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The Classical Tradition Today

Watch Dr Kenneth Clarke explore the links between the classical poetic tradition and contemporary poetry in A. E. Stallings' poem.

In this video, Dr Kenneth Clarke explores the links between the classical tradition of poetry and poetry today. Dr Clarke examines one of his favourite poems, ‘Song of the Women Poets’ by A. E. Stallings, and its journey through the underworld.

View ‘Song of the Women Poets’ by A. E. Stallings in the ‘downloads’ section – Copyright © 2006 by A.E. Stallings. Published 2006 by Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.

Over to you

Consider these prompting questions and let us know what you think in the comments section. You may like to use these questions as a starting point for your comment, or you may choose to answer one specific question – we look forward to hearing from you!

What traditions is Dr Clarke discussing in this video?

How does Stallings’ focus on women poets in this poem inform your understanding of poetic traditions over time?

How much does an understanding of Greek mythology help your understanding of Stallings’ poem

Did it surprise you to be asked to think about ‘kerosene’ and ‘licorice’ as ‘perfectly Greek’?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments, below.

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Poetry: How to Read a Poem

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