Roman nature

How poetry helped one scholar understand his mother

By Stephanie Butnick|August 4, 2011 2:43 PM

Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt talks [1] anxiety and nature with Blake Eskin in this week’s New Yorker podcast. Greenblatt says the Roman poet Lucretius—specifically his poem On the Nature of Things—helped him understand his Jewish mother and the blessings that, he explains, went “squandered” and “undigested” due to her fears.

His (subscription-only) essay [2] on the ancient poem can also be found in the magazine’s August 8 edition.

The Pleasure Principle [1] [New Yorker]
Earlier: Our Revenge on Wagner [3]

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