Attuning ourselves to tunes

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The below is a transcript (with a small number of footnotes added) for an inaugural lecture given at the University of East Anglia on 28 November 2022. The lecture sought to answer the following questions: why read poems? Why study poetry? This talk argues that poetry constitutes language in its most condensed, but also most enlarged, form: when we read poems, we enliven ourselves to the expressive power of language as a whole, we attune ourselves to the language’s tunes. Through discussions of poems from across history, the talk will explore the different ways that poems ‘make sense’: that is, generate senses and sensations. In particular, the talk will reflect on the sense of tunes and the tunefulness of sense. A recording of the lecture and ensuing Q&A can be found at
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295–303
Number of pages9
Issue number275
Early online date8 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023

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