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The National Association of educational broadcasters in cooperation with the British Information Services presents a window on the world a tape recorded series of talks by eminent British citizens. This week our speaker is Lady Margaret Darcy novelist and lecturer. Her subject poetry for all movements here now is Lady Margaret Darcy. Tre is out of fashion. All sorts of reasons are given. People say modern life is too practical and too busy. Many people say modern poetry is obscure and ridiculous that people are too I think who feel a slight sense of embarrassment about Petraeus who agree with Mr. Pickwick when he said poetry is unnatural or else it's dismissed as gloomy. Do you remember a cataract I don't want to P.G. Woodhouse his earlier books who said the works of Matthew Arnold are no place to go for a laugh. In any case a general opinion seems to be either Let's leave it to the highbrows. But poetry is for everyone. It's only a question of finding the doorway inside is a whole new world a
world of wonder beauty and surprise as when Browning when he was speaking of poet said that all of a sudden the poet with a look you vents a brace of ridings and then there breaks a sudden rose itself over us and around us every side bet is us with a glory young one small pouring heaven into the shophouse of life. We can find in poetry what we wish. An escape or a stimulation an emotion or an intellectual satisfaction a pastime or a study. So here briefly I'm going to try to give you some of the things that poetry dance for me to share with those of you who also love it some of my own pleasures and to give perhaps to those who have not happened to try it yet. A glimpse through the doorway perjury of course is strangely personal. You remember the critic Brimley always said that poetry individualize is instead of classifying. So what I say will necessarily be a personal matter. Let's look first at the different kinds of poetry
because we can like all kinds all the time and not be too concerned with what is poetry and what is good what is bad. It all depends what we feel like one day we may feel like reading the lyric poets. The love poems perhaps of Tennyson or Keats or more up to date but words we might feel like the nostalgic love poems like flickers in which he said I have seen ships like swarms asleep beyond the village which men still call tile. On another day we don't want lyric poetry at all. We want something to cheer us up and then we want perhaps the wreaths make the tree the perjury that moves that has a rhythm that is exciting. Think for example of that poem a veterans is cargoes in which he says fat black box in a wine battle room ballad house kings with feet on stable sagged and riddled and pounded on the table pounded on the table beat an empty
barrel with the handle of a broom. Hard as they were able. Boom boom boom. With a silk umbrella on the handle of a boom boom lay boom boom boom lay boom and very exciting with Nick Paton. Again there are days when we feel more like the intellectual poets and the intellectual I don't necessarily mean difficult but I mean those poems that deal with mental struggle or with problems of the soul with philosophical ideas. Those are the days when we feel like T.S. Eliot when he said to penetrate that room is my desire the extreme attic of the mind that lies just beyond the bend in the college. But there is there are lots of kinds of pertly left. What about narrative poetry. The kind that tells a story of adventure historical. Perhaps the best known historical narrative is that very long poem by Thomas Hardy called the dentists. The poem that tells the whole story of Napoleon's life and right at the end there is a wonderful passage when the president is sitting all by himself on some telly now and he's
thinking over his past life. And then it is he says I miss Mark. They will dub me and yet I found the crown of France in a mile and with the point of my prevailing sword I picked it up. But for all this and this I shall be nothing. No still lies before us. The vast volume of mystical Patrick all the poems of religion of wonder of striving poems like the Hound of Heaven Invictus say not the struggle not avail and perhaps the greatest poem of wonder out of the more Blake's Tyger Tyger burning bright in the forests of the night. And last but not least don't let's leave out the great volume of comics. Yes because this to me has a very definite part in the hope of the whole of poetry comic verse is very difficult to do well comic verse is very important. One has no time to quote one favorites but Abdon nationally well-known comic
poet in America has one quatrain that I'm particularly fond of. You know the one of his that goes I have a bone to pick with fate. Come here and tell me girlie. Do you think my mind's maturing late. Or merely rocking it. And what against Mr. Ogden Nash in England we had unfortunately no longer had a gram of his ruthless rhymes and so he had a four lines from had a Graham weep not for little lay on me. Abducted by a French marquis. The loss of honor was a wrench. Just think how this improved of French. Well some people may not agree but this is Patrick. But to me it's all part of the Great Ho. But all kinds of perjury need careful making. Inspiration must be ready to take meek and some knowledge of that technique is valuable and interesting. We don't need to learn a great deal about process but it's interesting to look at the poet's mind. Look at all the
things he has to think about. He must consider for example rhythm and rhyme. Sound is very important and much can be conveyed in a poem by the very sound of the words without their meaning. You know those three lines of Ebeneezer Elliot's where with a long o sound he gives us such a tremendous impression of sadness deep dark of the current flows to the sea where no wind blows. Seeking the land which no man knows. Then there are the internal rhymes the rhymes that give music to a line of them the golden sea of whales. When the first star ship in the last wave pales. The poet must to think about words. How often have you and I said if only I had the words to express it. Well the poet must consider words for all sorts of reasons that is so many different uses. You misuse them perhaps in an imitative sense in imagery in comparison
as well as for sense. And speaking of comparison here is a short poem I came across the other day by Roy Fala in which he uses I think quite new and very interesting comparison. This is a short poem about our walls and he says of them swaddled in use as black as ink. The hour will sit in a tidy freeze like oriental day it is on living there red eyes they think. You see when we are thinking about the words in poems we have to remember that cliches were once good images. They were so good that people went on using them until now they've become cliches something we don't like. And after all this that the poet has done he must still think a great deal of compression and carpentry. In the old days a set forms used to help to condense and Kalif meaning. Then poets began to throw them away. Now there is a movement toward bringing them back. I suppose the most classic
example of compression is Emily Dickinson. She's everything down to centrals until nothing was left but the barest sense. And we have in England a poet is called Frances Cornford who writes much the same kind of verse of this classic condensed kind. One short poem of hers I'm very fond of which goes from my mind's cliff you're knocked a stone away there in the light. A new born purpose lay and half in Terre Hoff in glad surprise. I saw his unknown coils and sleeping eyes. But when all has been said about the technique of making poetry what the poet really has to do is to translate his emotions. He must translate his emotions so that we two not only share it but actually experience it. And sometimes when I'm thinking to myself What is the thing in a poet's mind that perhaps sets him apart from other writers.
I come to the conclusion that to me it is a certain quality of remembering. We all remember things particularly emotional experiences. But in a poet's mind there is a certain quality of remembering which he translates into his poems. And what then is the total effect of the poet's work. It is I think human individual. Perpetrators not pursue a cause does not have ethical sympathies but it enters into us into our being. Why is an apt quotation so acceptable. Because a thing once said with perfect catatonia is an illumination is universal. But I think that there is room for all kinds not only the very best but some in the middle as well. Because above all the total effect of poetry is to me that through it and through all the great literature we may come to believe in the immortality of man. But to enter
this world however much or however little we can study we must read. I know it's difficult to read these days and it's above all difficult to read aloud which perjury deserves. But we can keep certain things in mind. Reading poetry we will find the pleasures of repetition of discovery of change. One grows mother's understanding grows and ultimately we await that magical moment that magical moment and we are waiting all our reading the moment of sudden vision. It comes unexpectedly. It comes as a marriage between the reader's mind and that of the poet. And when it comes it's worth all the days and weeks and months that we have been reading before it. So I come to the end of a very personal view a very personal selection. Discovering any of the arts is at once a joy and a burden. Every new requirement of the mind and soul is like an added addition in a busy world. But they get a glimpse of the land of padre is forever to want to see
again the door is easily open and the view will never disappoint. One finds out amid there that perjury is within us within us all our glory and the humbling in great or small degree it is a part of life and in so tortuous and difficult a world as we have today. Beauty may be hard to come by but what we get from the arts. No one can take away from us here there are not some of the things I feel as a reader of poetry. Now listen to the voice of a poet. The aim of every page should be to speak to each man for the moment of that life of his that he has hidden and forgotten the name of every page. It is to bring men closer in love to God and to their fellow men. The aim of every day is to make each day holy to us. That was the voice of one of our greatest living poets Dame Edith Sitwell.
But do you remember a little earlier in the talk I said that it is through all great literature that we may come to believe in the immortality of man if perjury is to go on. We must read the work of living poets. But the continuity of literature is one of its most wonderful aspects. Poets living poets recently dead poets dead long long ago. We can read them or we can follow the long golden chain of inspiration and endeavor we can live their thoughts again and so to end. Let me quote you a poem written in the last century. In it the poet speaks of a friend he has lost but the friend died at the time of the ancient Greek civilization. Nearly three thousand years ago yet the poet speaks of him as if his death was a recent one. A recent terrible loss. See in this little poem the present and the past. See in it. Man's immortality to a man they told me.
As they told me you were dead. They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed. I wept as I remembered how often you and I had time. The sun was talking and send him down the sky. And now the bald lying. My dad a caddy and guessed my handful of dead ashes long long ago at rest. Still all my pleasant voice is fine nightingales. A week for death. He take it all away but these he cannot take. You have been listening to Lady Margaret Darcy a novelist and lecturer speaking on poetry for all moods. Listen next week when window on the world will present Miss Flora Armitage author of a recent biography of T.E. Lawrence. Her topic Lawrence of Arabia the legend and the man. This is been a tape recorded presentation of the National Association of educational broadcasters
in cooperation with the British Information Services. This is the end E.B. Radio Network.
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Window on the world
Lady Margaret D'Arcy
Producing Organization
British Information Services
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Margaret D'Arcy, British novelist and lecturer, gives a talk titled "Poetry for all Moods"
Series Description
A series of short talks by well-known British personalities on the subjects usually associated with them.
Broadcast Date
Radio programs--United States.
Media type
Producing Organization: British Information Services
Speaker: D'Arcy, Margaret
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-30-30 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:39
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Chicago: “Window on the world; Lady Margaret D'Arcy,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 30, 2023,
MLA: “Window on the world; Lady Margaret D'Arcy.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 30, 2023. <>.
APA: Window on the world; Lady Margaret D'Arcy. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from