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The Favorite Poem Project: Archie Burnett reads A. E. Housman

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Archie Burnett, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of English, codirector of the CAS Editorial Institute, and editor of The Letters of A. E. Housman (Oxford University Press, 2007)

“The reason I like the Housman poem I chose is not just its description of nature (‘the changing burnish heaves’, ‘the pillared forest’) but its exquisite balancing of contrary impulses: its combination of loving attachment and cool resignation, of erotic possession and letting go of a relationship.”

“By reading poems we love aloud, we can learn how much pleasure there can be in the sounds of words,” says Robert Pinsky, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of English and former U.S. poet laureate. “It’s as though saying the words of a poem aloud makes one feel more able, more capable than in ordinary life. You enter a different state.”

Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project in 1997 during the first of an unprecedented three terms as poet laureate to encourage Americans to celebrate and explore their love of poetry. Since then, the project — now directed by BU poet Maggie Dietz (GRS’97) — has produced three anthologies and more than 1,000 readings around the country.

Throughout the semester, BU Today will feature a member of the BU community reading his or her favorite poem. Any student or faculty or staff member can participate.

If you’d like to read your favorite poem for BU Today, e-mail us at today@bu.edu.

Click here
to listen to Perry Barton read e. e. cummings.

Click here to listen to Justin Lamb (COM’07) read Rives.

Click here to listen to Kathy Kuhn read Wallace Stevens.

Click here to listen to Andrew Clark read Robert Hass.

Click here to listen to Hakim Walker (CAS’09) read Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click here to listen to an autumn’s worth of favorite poems.

 

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