Thomas Lynch’s Feast of Language
BBC Radio 3
In this series of essays, celebrated poet, essayist and funeral director, Thomas Lynch, looks at five of his most beloved poets and examines how their poems have nourished and sustained him throughout his life. Under the umbrella term of “Feast”, celebrated poet, essayist and funeral director, Thomas Lynch, explores sex and death, those “bookends of life”, alongside religion, love, anecdote, food, personal history and memory, evoking the power and richness of poetic language and its ability to contain such diverse themes. Lynch has carefully chosen five poets, most of them still living, who best convey the notion of poetry as a continual feast of language: Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney; first ever female Poet Laureate, Carol Anne Duffy; Matthew Sweeney; former Poet Laureate of the United States, Mark Strand; and Michael Donaghy. For Lynch, “Poetry is as good an ax as a pillow”: it can comfort as much as it can cause harm. As such, it is the most important art form he knows.
Produced by Kate Bland
Broadcast: May 2011