I wanted to share this link to the latest Poetry Off the Shelf podcast as I found it fascinating. Helena de Groot is in conversation here with Peter Murphy and their discussion is broad ranging. Murphy is the author of a book called The Long Public Life of a Short Private Poem – Reading and Remembering Thomas Wyatt. While their conversation begins as a discussion of this singular poem of his, written nearly 500 years ago, it evolves into much more. What I found particularly riveting was pondering Wyatt’s manuscript, which has survived the centuries. It was used and written in and drawn in for many, many years, by many generations, yet the poems still exist within the pages, in many cases written over by other text or illustrations. A phenomenal piece of cultural history. The manuscript itself has been digitized and can be viewed at the British Library digitized documents site. An amazing object.


And here is a link to the digitized manuscript. You can use the arrow keys at upper right to scroll through the pages.


5 comments on “POETRY OFF THE SHELF”

  1. I listened to this podcast this morning, too, JNaz. I concur that it is worth a listen, especially for a poetry-loving, book-loving group such as this. I’m grateful for the link to the British Library. (Wasn’t the British Library the place where Gertrude Stein went every day to read all of the novels written in English–which surely must be a Steinian exaggeration?)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Based on your recommendation, I just listened to Poetry Off the Shelf. I fell in love with Peter Murphy and his passion and love for his own work. I especially love that he began to see connections to the content of his research in everything he was experiencing in his life (“Should I write about ink?”), and he was so sad when the project ended. The idea of tracing history through a poem is so interesting, especially since, in this case, the manuscript that held the poem had such an amazing story of its own. I would have never found this on my own. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Barbara, I had the same experience re Peter Murphy. His passion for his work, for knowledge, his excitement for it. Really want to get my hands on this book of his.
      I am so glad you gave a listen and enjoyed it. : )

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