Dear colleagues, former colleagues, former students, friends and lovers of poems,

            This poetry list, which has featured mailings on various poems, has been relatively dormant for several years.  It began when I worked in Washington, where I found that my colleagues on Capitol Hill were, by the nature of their work, so intently focused on policy and politics, that they had perhaps too little room to think about what life was all about, or the place that words and art and beauty can play in our lives.

            Now that I have just retired from teaching at U.V.M., I have tapped into new sources of energy.  Remarkable, at least to me.  With this new-found energy I am turning to emailing essays on poems once again.  Some of you may not have been on this list before, so this is the first mailing you will receive.  Others have been on the list for a longer or shorter time: I hope you will welcome the list being re-activated.

            I have chosen, for the first poem I will be sending out in my new incarnation as a retired professor, the remarkable meditation by Matthew Arnold, "Dover Beach."

            Fast upon this mailing will come another.  I had a conversation with a friend about the 'imagination,' and as you will see in the mailing, that conversation started me thinking, and reading, about how human life is lived in time, and what that means for works of the imagination.  I am no longer particularly attracted to literary theory, so this further mailing will (although it does turn to philosophy) primarily address what we as readers can expect, and what we cannot expect, as we read poems, and novels too.

If you don't want to receive these emails, there are directions for unsubscribing from the list at the end of the discussion of Matthew Arnold's poem.  If you want to see past emails, you can find them at .  They are listed by the dates on which I sent them.  If you want to know which poets/poems were the subject of the letters, write me and I will send you a list.

With best wishes,


Huck Gutman
Professor of English
438 Old Mill
The University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05401
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