Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 22nd of January 2018 on Red Kite Radio.
In this show we read and analyse William Blake’s poem, To Winter. Blake was a poet who was shunned by the establishment at the time, becoming the voice of the working class. His claims of being a mystic had him labelled as a madman. He died in poverty but left art and poetry that has gone on to inspire many people. One such was rock musician Patti Smith and we discuss how William Blake’s influence provided the foundation for many of her hits, including Because the Night.
If you have difficulty listening to the programme, a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.
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O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.
He hears me not, but o’er the yawning deep
Rides heavy; his storms are unchain’d, sheathed
In ribbed steel; I dare not lift mine eyes;
For he hath rear’d his scepter o’er the world.
Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and in his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.
He takes his seat upon the cliffs, the mariner
Cries in vain. Poor little wretch! that deal’st
With storms; till heaven smiles, and the monster
Is driven yelling to his caves beneath Mount Hecla.