Show Notes

Episode 54: Our Favorite Poems

This week on The Literary Life, our hosts talk about their favorite poems and poets. Cindy starts off by sharing the early influences on her developing a love of poetry. Thomas also shares about his mother reading poetry to him as a child and the poetry that made an impression on him as a child. Angelina talks about coming to poetry later in life and how she finally came to love it through learning about the metaphysical poets.

Cindy and Thomas talk about the powerful effect of reading and reciting poetry in meter. Thomas also brings up the potential of hymn texts as beautiful, high-ranking poetry. From classic to modern, they share many poems and passages from their most beloved poetry, making this a soothing, lyrical episode. If you want to learn more, check out Thomas’ webinar How to Love Poetry.

Next week our hosts will be checking in with their 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge progress, and we hope you will share your progress on Instagram and Facebook, too. Hint: there will be giveaways!

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

The knowledge-as-information vision is actually defective and damaging. It distorts reality and humanness, and it gets in the way of good knowing.

Esther Lightcap Meek

Perhaps it would be a good idea for public statues to be made with disposable heads that can be changed with popular fashion. But even better would surely be to make statues without any heads at all, representing simply the “idea” of a good politician.

Auberon Waugh

When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock–to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you use large and startling figures.

Flannery O’Connor

Reading in War Time

by Edwin Muir

Boswell by my bed,
Tolstoy on my table;
Thought the world has bled
For four and a half years,
And wives’ and mothers’ tears
Collected would be able
To water a little field
Untouched by anger and blood,
A penitential yield
Somewhere in the world;
Though in each latitude
Armies like forest fall,
The iniquitous and the good
Head over heels hurled,
And confusion over all:
Boswell’s turbulent friend
And his deafening verbal strife,
Ivan Ilych’s death
Tell me more about life,
The meaning and the end
Of our familiar breath,
Both being personal,
Than all the carnage can,
Retrieve the shape of man,
Lost and anonymous,
Tell me wherever I look
That not one soul can die
Of this or any clan
Who is not one of us
And has a personal tie
Perhaps to someone now
Searching an ancient book,
Folk-tale or country song
In many and many a tongue,
To find the original face,
The individual soul,
The eye, the lip, the brow
For ever gone from their place,
And gather an image whole.

Book List:

A Little Manual for Knowing by Esther Lightcap Meek

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake

The Book of Virtues by William Bennett

Cautionary Tales for Children by Hilaire Belloc

When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne

Now We are Six by A. A. Milne

Emma by Jane Austen

Oxford Book of English Verse

Immortal Poems of the English Language ed. by Oscar Williams

Motherland by Sally Thomas

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Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at

Find Cindy at, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

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