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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

The Ring and the Book continues, as Guido receives the news of his sentencing. He’s mighty peeved to find out that killing your wife, your kid, and her family is an act with consequences, and that those consequences apply to him.

Book 11A.

11:09.

Sorry this has been so sporadic. It takes a lot out of me, for some reason.

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Gower’s Confessio Amantis is a great classic of English literature and poetry, and nobody reads it.

Until now. (cue ominous music)

I had to do something. All Browning’s blank verse is driving me insane. So welcome to my best Middle English, which stinks for accuracy but ought to be intelligible. Gower is also guaranteed to make you feel better about all the goings-on down at your local parish, because they probably aren’t as bad as the goings-on he complains about.

Prologue, Part 1.

28:09.

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The Ring and the Book continues. In this segment, the Pope announces his continued belief in God from personal experience, and compares the virtue of a pagan poet without benefit of revelation to the lack of virtue of many of modern days. (Next week we’ll finish this book and move on to the next.)

Book 10E.

20:14.

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The Ring and the Book continues. In this segment, the Pope thinks about the poor showing that Christianity is making in this case in the lives of people who know better, and should do better.

Book 10D.

24:04.

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The Ring and the Book continues, after being abandoned on this podcast since January. (Yes, it’s a little too big for me. I admit it.) For those who weren’t listening back then or who have forgotten in six months, this epic poem about a strange case of a wife’s flight and a family’s murder in Rome, in the days of the Papal States, is ripped from the pages of Italian history. Browning turned a book about the various court cases into a poem about the same events seen from various points of view of testimony and judgment. It’s fascinating stuff, and there’s certainly plenty of it.

In this segment, the Pope finishes thinking about his judgment of the actions of Pompilia and Caponsacchi.

Book 10C.

15:14.

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The Argonautica ends with one last blast of trouble for the Argonauts: a classical giant robot and the mythological origin of the island Thera.

Part 23

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The Argonautica continues, as the Argonauts find themselves facing their greatest challenge yet — the bleak Libyan desert!


Part 22

33:47

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The Ring and the Book continues, as we hear our historical Pope’s thoughts on our ol’ buddy Guido. (Hint: he doesn’t think much of him.)

Book 10B.

38:48.

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The Ring and the Book continues, as the Pope ponders Guido’s appeal for a stay of execution. (As temporal ruler of the Papal States back then, he had authority over the courts of Rome and other places in his territories.)

Book 10: The Pope.

24:53.

Btw, here’s the beautiful basilica church, San Lorenzo in Lucina, to which the murderers brought the bodies of Pompilia et al. Lucina was the Roman matron who owned the house which was made into the original church (titulus Lucinae); she hid Pope Marcellus I from Emperor Maxentius’ persecution.

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The Ring and the Book continues, as we reach the end of yet another volume of the poem. Next week, we get to the Pope’s book.

Book 9C

37:58.

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Argonautica continues, as Jason and Medea go visit her famous auntie — that notorious sorceress, Circe. In a break from her usual characterization, Circe is depicted as a defender of order and justice, and a representative of normal human society! (Which goes to show you just how bad kinslaying was.)

Part 19

16:11.

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The Ring and the Book continues, as the prosecuting attorney continues to argue for Pompilia’s innocence and against Guido’s murderous behavior. Just as with Guido’s defense attorney, some of his arguments are pretty dubious.

Book 9B

32:34.

By the way, there’s a reading at Librivox now of Chesterton’s book on Robert Browning, which includes a very insightful essay about The Ring and the Book. (And even some words on why these prosecution and defense books are necessary to the poem.) You might want to check it out.

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The Argonautica continues, as the tragedy portion of the story of Jason and Medea begins. I don’t think I ever learned this part of the story; but it does make the stuff that happened later in their lives make a lot more sense. The Greek gods didn’t mind stealing and raiding, but kinslaying was a big no-no.

Part 18: Kinslaying.

18:23.

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The Ring and the Book continues, as the public prosecutor begins telling his side of the story.

Book 9A

27:42.

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The Ring and the Book continues, as the public defense attorney finishes telling his side of the story.

Book 8E.

26:27.

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