Stapleford Granary

Course description


In partnership with Literature Cambridge

19 October 2019

14.00-17.30  £50/£45 students

Tea and coffee provided


Do you love poetry but sometimes find it difficult to understand? Do you want to get more out of reading poetry? 

In this study day, two brilliant young Cambridge scholars will guide us through the basics of reading poetry. Our theme will be love poetry, looking at some great poems from Shakespeare to the present day.

W. H. Auden famously wrote that ‘poetry makes nothing happen’, but the words with which he followed that memorable phrase are often forgotten. Poetry ‘survives’, Auden went on to say, ‘in the valley of its making’ – ‘it survives, / A way of happening, a mouth’. 

This Study Day will discover poetry in the valley of its making: where it survives, what it makes happen, and what it has to do with mouths. Along the way we will explore the basics of reading love poetry, the significance of various poets of the past 400 years, and the joys of reading aloud.

Set text: we recommend you buy one collection of poetry for the Study Day:

Laura Barber, ed. Penguin’s Poems for Love(Penguin, 2010). 



Oliver Goldstein, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, on The Forms of Love

Anna Nickerson, Girton College, Cambridge, on Loving and Losing


We finish with a round-table seminar. 


Further information:

T. 01223 324960