Ep 27. Fiona Sampson reads and discusses Shelley’s Hymn to Intellectual Beauty (Part 1)
Our guest on this episode of the Keats-Shelley Podcast is the poet, biographer and critic Fiona Sampson - who is also Chair of 2022's Keats-Shelley and Young Romantics Prizes.
Our conversation begins with Fiona reading her favourite Shelley poem, Hymn to Intellectual Beauty - which inspired the title of Fiona's new book, Starlight Wood. This forms the basis of our discussion, which roams freely to ponder issues including: the importance of reading aloud; what is 'Intellectual Beauty'; and what does it mean for an atheist like Shelley to write a hymn? Fiona Sampson the poet unravels the sound patterns of Shelley's verse and compares the 'Hymn' to its sister-poem, Mont Blanc. Fiona Sampson the biographer tells the story of the poem's composition and the infamous summer without a summer of 1816, which also inspired Mary Shelley to begin Frankenstein.
Part 2 of the conversation will follow.
Read more about Fiona Sampson here.
Buy a copy of Starlight Wood here.
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