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Silent Letters of the Alphabet (Newcastle/Bloodaxe Poetry) (Newcastle/Bloodaxe Poetry Lectures) Paperback – 30 Mar 2010
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About the Author
Ruth Padel is a Fellow both of the Royal Society of Literature and Zoological Society of London, and is currently Resident Poet at Christ's College, Cambridge. She has published seven collections of poetry, most recently a biography in poems of her great great grandfather Charles Darwin. She began as a classical scholar at Oxford and writes a wide range of non-fiction as well as poetry, including two books about reading modern poems, a much admired travel-conservation book about wild tigers, a groundbreaking study of Greek myth and rock music, and two books on the idea of consciousness, and of madness, in Greek poetry, tragedy and religion. She gave the Newcastle/Bloodaxe Poetry Lectures at Newcastle University in 2008, published as Silent Letters of the Alphabet (Bloodaxe Books, 2010).
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25 July 2011
This is a great book to understand what is the back yard of good poetry. In 52 Ways Of Looking At A Poem: or How Reading Modern Poetry Can Change Your Life: A Poem for Every Week of the Year Ruth Padel performed a case study and in The Poem and the Journey: 60 poems for the journey of life she continued highlighting case by case content analysis, suggested how to qualify for finding out meanings and stressed special sound effects produced by the poet because poetry is an acustic device that generates mental and emotional resonances in the hidden side of the brain and the word-based conscioussness. The first lecture illustrates a classical subject, the psychological outcome of getting involved in metaphores. Logical thinking and metaphorical thinking are two quiet different ways of understanding what we do and what is happening around us. Metaphorical thinking is the inner world of our favorite movies, the paintings and sculptures we appreciate in a museum, the wedding dress we admire in the showing room and in Buckinghmam palace. It not taught in high school. The second lecture deals on what is sound like. It is the old distinction between ears (anatomy and the test of good painters) and hearing, the ability to perceive sound variations. About 1 out of 2 persons is born deaf to nuances in the near surrounding. Their auditory range is short and it declines with age and exposure to disc jokeys. Poetry is the secret intelligence service in the proactive art of listening. The large majority of parents and children understand listening just as reacting. Mistake. Re-education is needed. Poetry is the art of focusing on harmonies. Chinese and Japanese poets have been experts for centuries. The expertise of the large majority of poets in Europe has been wordiness, long speech. The target of the third and final lecture are living poets (not ghosts in the shelfs) and it advocates a cognitive map about how to reach the audience, readers are friends, genuine readers of poetry are good Samaritans in the bookshop and Santa Claus when it is time of Christmas or birthday presents. Usability has been a key concept to success in the large majority of websites that collect visitors. User friendliness has been the target of computer age advance design. Too many poets in the 21st century must learn how to be polite with benefactors and supporters. This is an introductory course on politeness in language and communication.