“A Fable for Critics”: A Dramatic Reading
In honor of National Poetry Month and the bicentennial year of poet James Russell Lowell, literary historian Rob Velella presents this dramatic reading and illustrated presentation of James Russell Lowell’s hilarious 1848 poem “A Fable for Critics.” After the talk in Story Chapel we will walk to the Lowell lot on Fountain Avenue for a brief wreath-laying ceremony.
“Because National Poetry Month is April,
And for the history of verse we’re all quite grateful,
We now offer something in verse decidedly new —
Not new, so to speak, lest our report seem askew.
Presenting one of the funniest poems to date,
James Russell Lowell in the year 1848
Published this great (and long) poetical satire
Earning him some acclaim and some serious ire.
In this series of rhymed jokes which dripped from his pen,
Lowell skillfully aimed like a great marksman,
Targeting those like Cooper, Fuller, Edgar Poe,
Ralph Waldo Emerson and, of course, Longfellow.
Poking fun at all these writers with his great wits,
This reading features some of our favorite tidbits.”
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