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Professor’s Corner: a Discussion Group Devoted to Literary Texts

Join us for presentations & discussions on literary topics given by area professors. Call 349-8752 for more information.  Everyone is invited & no registration is required. These programs are made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

6/11 “Mourning and Melancholy in Two Poems by Thomas Gray”-Dr. Ashley Bender (TWU)

Click here for the poems

South Branch Library 7 p.m.

Session:  “Mourning and Melancholy in Two Poems by Thomas Gray.” Thomas Gray’s contribution to English letters might be considered inversely proportional to his poetic output. Although the poet published only a handful of poems (13-14) during his lifetime, his “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” and “Sonnet on the Death of Mr. Richard West” are widely anthologized. Perhaps more significantly, they offer readers a glimpse of the changing nature of English poetry in the middle of the eighteenth century, serving as a bridge of sorts between the Augustans who preceded him and the Romantics who followed. In this session of Professor’s Corner, we will examine these two elegies, paying special attention to the function of mourning and melancholy. What do mourning and melancholy in these poems reveal about the state of English poetry? What do they reveal about our author?


Bio: Dr. Bender is an adjunct instructor at Texas Woman’s University. She earned her Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of North Texas. Although she specializes in Restoration and eighteenth-century British literature, especially drama, her scholarly interests range from Renaissance and early seventeenth-century drama to (some) Romantic poetry of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  Dr. Bender has presented at Professor’s Corner previously. 


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