92Y’s Read By

92Y’s Read By

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A new podcast where today’s finest writers read the work that matters to them—from their homes, to yours. Produced and commissioned by the 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center, a home for live readings of literature for over 80 years.

Paisley Rekdal on her selection:

Charming may not be a word commonly associated with Alexander Pope, but for me, “Epistle to Miss Blount, On Her Leaving the Town, After the Coronation” may be one of the most charming poems I know. Pope, famous for “The Rape of the Lock,” and his exhaustingly didactic essay “A Man,” delights with this epistolary poem—brief, by Popian standards—full of wit and life. Like all his poems, it displays a beautiful facility with rhyme and meter, (Pope was a master of the heroic couplet), and a beautiful sense of compassion to the young woman to whom it is addressed. In his poem, Miss Blount is subject to all sorts of whims and institutions—mother, aunt, the church, the squire. There are so many daydreams and visions enclosed inside “Epistle” that by the end of the poem, I’m almost lost inside its spell. Like Pope, I’m regretfully startled awake from this enchanting picture of Miss Blount, and want to return immediately to the poem’s beginning: to relive once more the few, evanescent moments in which Miss Blount is again young, willful, alive—a product both of Pope’s attentive admiration, and mine.

Alexander Pope, “Epistle to Miss Blount, On Her Leaving the Town, After the Coronation”

Music: “Shift of Currents” by Blue Dot Sessions // CC BY-NC 2.0

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