A POWERFUL TOOL FOR BUILDING AWARENESS AND
KNOWLEDGE OF ROMANTIC POETRY
With the poetry of the Romantics scheduled for inclusion in the GCSE English syllabus from 2014, now is the time to order your school’s copy of the 6-CD boxed set ‘All About the Younger Romantics’ by songwriter and Romantics specialist John Webster and featuring Romantics admirer Benjamin Zephaniah and the indie folk/soft rock group Brindaband.
The CDs – which anthologise key Romantics lyrics in song form and provide biographical, social and political context – have been well received by the educational press, with the Times Educational Supplement, the School Librarian journal and the National Association for the Teaching of English in Schools approving different CDs in the set; they offer the chance for students to familiarise themselves with a selection of poems by Keats, Shelley and Byron and through the commentaries on them at the Lyrics and Commentaries and Education/Discovery pages at the supporting website to think about textual analysis and the broader meanings of the works.
In the latter context Shelley’s ‘Adonais’ is linked with Wilfred Owen’s commentary on the poem from his position as an officer in the trenches in WW1, the recent scholarly thinking on the relationship of Keats’s poem ‘To Autumn’ to the Peterloo Massacre is considered, and Byron’s involvement in the Greek War of Independence is held up as an thought-provoking example of a poet’s involvement in the political arena of his day.
The six CDs in the boxed set are:
(Focusing on biography and poetry):
– ‘The Shelley Story’ with narrative by Benjamin Zephaniah and with 24 Shelley poems anthologised in song
– ‘Lord Byron and the Greek War’ also narrated by Benjamin Zephaniah and with eight Byron poems anthologised, plus two recreated dialogues drawn from primary sources.
– ‘John Keats’s sublime single’ with two settings of Keats lyrics and a spoken word biography of the poet. (Music albums focusing on the poets’ work):
– ‘Percy Bysshe Shelley: Rock Star’; A music album featuring Shelley lyrics with some additions to the songs found on The Shelley Story
– ‘Courageous Heart: seven Byronic songs’. Final versions of the songs from ‘Lord Byron and the Greek War’.
– ‘The First Fab Four’. A 45-minute 14 track compilation providing an accessible anthology in song of the poets’ work (also featuring lyrics by their associate Leigh Hunt)
Useful both for private study and with classroom and other uses suggested online, go to http://www.thefirstfabfour.co.uk/boxed_set.html for more information