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The Well Read Poem

Feb 8, 2021

Because reading is interpretation, The Well Read Poem aims to teach you how to read with understanding! Hosted by poet Thomas Banks of The House of Humane Letters, these short episodes will introduce you to both well-known and obscure poets and will focus on daily recitation, historical and intellectual background, elements of poetry, light explication, and more!

Play this podcast daily and practice reciting! The next week, get a new poem. Grow in your understanding and love of poetry by learning how to read well! Brought to you by The Literary Life Podcast. Poem begins at 4:07.


by Robert Graves

The child alone a poet is:
Spring and Fairyland are his.
Truth and Reason show but dim,
And all’s poetry with him.  
Rhyme and music flow in plenty
For the lad of one-and-twenty,  
But Spring for him is no more now  
Than daisies to a munching cow;  
Just a cheery pleasant season,  
Daisy buds to live at ease on.
He’s forgotten how he smiled  
And shrieked at snowdrops when a child,
Or wept one evening secretly  
For April’s glorious misery.  
Wisdom made him old and wary
Banishing the Lords of Faery.  
Wisdom made a breach and battered  
Babylon to bits: she scattered  
To the hedges and ditches  
All our nursery gnomes and witches.
Lob and Puck, poor frantic elves,  
Drag their treasures from the shelves.  
Jack the Giant-killer’s gone,  
Mother Goose and Oberon,  
Bluebeard and King Solomon.
Robin, and Red Riding Hood  
Take together to the wood,  
And Sir Galahad lies hid  
In a cave with Captain Kidd.  
None of all the magic hosts,
None remain but a few ghosts  
Of timorous heart, to linger on  
Weeping for lost Babylon.