In this two part lecture, recorded at an Objectivist conference in 1999, philosopher Leonard Peikoff discusses the value of poetry and its capacity for enriching one’s life. Encouraging listeners to “renounce their fear of poetry,” he blends dramatic readings with didactic analysis, using his personal favorites as a window on the world of poetry. Peikoff also reads some of Ayn Rand’s favorites, including two that were found in her papers after her death, as well as the poem she requested to be read at her funeral.
This course is wide ranging, in time (from the 800s to the twentieth century), in theme (from the philosophical to the humorous), and in authorship (from well-known masters to the anonymous). The course even includes a charming guest recitation from a young student.
The Q & A that follows the lecture expands on its subject matter and also includes the following topics: