Seamus Heaney’s ‘Sunlight’

February 2nd, 2012

Our 30th podcast is one of an occasional series on poems on the Irish Leaving Certificate English course. This examines Seamus Heaney's poem 'Sunlight', one of the dedicatory poems called 'Mossbawn', which open his 1975 collection North. 'Sunlight' is a poem of great warmth, recreating a scene from his childhood on the family farm, suffused with the love of and for his aunt Mary. However, it also prefigures disturbance and the eventual disappearance of such an idyll in a more violent society.

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Patterns of Poetry 9-15

April 2nd, 2011

Our 26th podcast brings together seven more 5-minute talks from the Patterns of Poetry series, which was runner-up in the 2010 Edublog Awards in the category 'Best Educational Use of Audio.' The talks are, in order: (9) Rhyme, (10) Repetition, (11) The Sonnet, (12) Punctuation, (13) Foreshadowing, (14) Metaphor, (15) Hyperbole. Note that there is a brief pause between each talk.

The first 8 talks are available in a single podcast here.

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Patterns of Poetry 1-8

October 11th, 2010

Our 24th podcast puts together in one handy track the first eight of the Patterns of Poetry talks, first published via Audioboo. The eight talks are all under 5 minutes each and are, in order: (1) Introduction, (2) Titles, (3) Alliteration, (4) Personification, (5) Symbols, (6) Onomatopoeia, (7) Cliché, (8) Simile. Note that there is a brief gap between each talk.

There is a full list of the series here.

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‘This Moment’ by Eavan Boland

February 11th, 2010

Our 17th podcast is the second in a series dealing with individual poems on the Leaving Certificate course (following the first on Yeats's 'The Wild Swans at Coole'). This one deals with 'This Moment' by the contemporary Irish poet Eavan Boland, examining how this apparently simple lyric achieves its memorable impact, and quoting from Boland's own comments and other writing.

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‘The Wild Swans at Coole’ by W.B. Yeats

October 13th, 2009

Our fifteenth podcast is the first of this academic year, and is also the first in a series of podcasts on individual poems on the Higher Level Leaving Certificate course. This one is on W.B. Yeats's poem 'The Wild Swans at Coole', and sets the poem in its literary and historical background.

The second volume of Roy Foster's biography, which is quoted in the podcast, is The Arch-Poet. The Yeats exhibition at the National Library of Ireland, is open now, and the website is here (you can see the manuscript of 'Wild Swans' online by searching). Coole Park's website is here.

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Louise C. Callaghan: an interview and reading

May 20th, 2009

For Podcast 9, we're delighted to present an extended interview with the poet Louise C. Callaghan, who discusses her poetry, and reads several poems. Included is 'The Binder's Notes', the poem for which Louise was shortlisted at the recent Strokestown International Poetry Festival, and which you can read here on their website.  Louise also reads poems such as 'The Palatine Daughter Marries a Catholic', 'Fragments', 'The Trader's Magneto Dynamo Company' and 'The Trick Is', and discusses the origins of her writing, and the methods she uses to encourage children to write.

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Geoffrey Chaucer: an interview with Terry Dolan

April 30th, 2009

Our fifth podcast is an interview with Professor Terry Dolan about the life, times and works of the great Middle English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, especially his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales. Professor Dolan talks about the nature of English society at the time, and discusses pilgrims such as the Knight, the Prioress and the Wife of Bath.

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