Poetry and…

About ‘Poetry And…’


Poetry makes all kinds of bonds. Bonds between people, ideas, feelings and disciplines, for instance. No accident that the mythical Greek poet Orpheus was said to draw people together. Poetry’s connectivity has never been more important than today, in a global crisis. ‘We are islands in the sea,’ said psychologist William James. ‘Separate on the surface but connected in the deep.’ Poetry is one way of calling those connections up from the depths to the surface.


For five years, King’s College has hosted a series of events called Poetry And…, in which we put together two speakers, usually a poet and someone from another field whose writing suggests an awareness of poetry’s relevance to their work.


Each speaker talks from their own perspective. The poet reads poems which bear on the other expert’s work and the ideas fertilise in the middle. You can find the full list of our past events in the archive.


It is all in the linking. “When we feel several objects at the same time,” said Coleridge, ‘the impressions are linked together.’ The poet’s imagination, he said, ‘yokes’ images that originally had no connection. Plugging in to every area of life and thought, from neuroscience to history, geography and psychiatry, music, medicine or ornithology, race relations, gender relations, identity or society, poetry is not only emotion finding its thought but any thought finding its own best words.