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Rime: Stories About Poetry
33 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
In 1724 Margaret Dickson was sentenced to death for alleged infanticide, hanged from a gibbet in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh, pronounced dead—and then woke up a few hours later complaining of a sore neck. She was scorned in street ballads and cheap printed broadsides, only to be celebrated in verse in our own time. She was known as “Half-Hanged Maggie.”
20 minutes | Jan 24, 2021
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” Long before words like “affirmation” or “motivational” were commonplace, before “inspirational” became an industry, William Ernest Henley—who suffered lifelong illness, amputation, poverty, and devastating loss—wrote a poem reminding all of us not to give up.
23 minutes | Dec 26, 2020
Hunting the Wren
December 26th is known by many names, including “Wren Day.” Named after an ancient ritual known as Hunting the Wren, its roots lie in sun-worship and symbolic sacrifice; the death of the old year and the birth of the new. “The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,” the chant begins; and on Wren Day that king, a tiny bird, was hunted, killed and laid to rest, only to sing again with the rising sun. The king is dead; long live the king.
26 minutes | Nov 21, 2020
When Wombats Do Inspire
Poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti was obsessed with wombats, as were his siblings and the members of the Pre-Raphaelite movement he founded. Top, the wombat Rossetti acquired in 1869, became legendary in their circle, inspiring poems and drawings and myths that linger to this day. But as so often happens, there was a disconnect between the idea of a wombat and the real creature that all-too-briefly shared Rossetti’s home.
19 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
For the Futurians
What would you include in a time capsule? Any favorite poems come to mind? They didn’t for the executives of Westinghouse, who created a time capsule for the 1939 World’s Fair that was meant to last 5000 years, but didn’t even include Shakespeare. Don’t worry, though—some poetry found its way inside the time capsule in spite of them, and what’s there holds some surprises.
16 minutes | Sep 17, 2020
King of Kings
Time erodes all earthly power and its trappings; though that didn’t stop European countries in the early 19th century from racing to grab up Egypt’s fallen monuments, trying to claim ancient glories for their own. One misidentified fragment in particular had a tumultuous voyage to its new home, at the same moment as the ruler it depicted was being immortalized in Percy Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias.”
14 minutes | Aug 17, 2020
When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
Big things can come from humble beginnings. That was the case for Jenny Joseph’s poem “Warning,” which began life as a throwaway, according to the poet. Yet it ended up its own industry, being the basis for a Broadway musical, a society with over 10,000 chapters worldwide, and enduring status as one of the best-loved poems of the 20th century.
3 minutes | Aug 17, 2020
Introducing the Rime Podcast
Poems are the gateway to incredible stories here at the Rime podcast. You don’t even have to be interested in poetry itself to enjoy the stories that poet MJ Millington will be sharing, which are amazing true tales from the history of poetry. Of course, if you want to read more poetry after hearing the stories, that’s alright by us. And you can visit the Rime website at rimepodcast.com to dive deeper into everything we talk about on the podcast.
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