Monday, September 24, 2012

Robert Browning's 200th Birth Anniversary, Special Session on Sep 19, 2012

 Portrait by Michele Gordigiani

This session was long awaited. Along with literature enthusiasts the world over the Kochi Reading Group decided to honour the 200th birth anniversary of Robert Browning by a session devoted to him.

Blessed with a rich imagination, wide learning, and steeped in rhyme and metre, Browning’s poems have the power to evoke sympathy even in an age that is the antithesis of everything Victorians stood for.  He is best noted in literature for his dramatic monologues. The nearest we got to that were the poems Rabbi Ben Ezra and Home Thoughts from Abroad.

 Sunil, Bobby, KumKum, Talitha

Many noted the difficulties one has reading Browning’s poems, on account of their allusiveness; the diction too is sometimes novel and requires a fair amount of re-reading to grasp its full import. Yet the poet so often strikes gold that you wish to mine all his poems.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

One cannot forget his contribution to literature in rescuing Elizabeth Barrett from her domineering father; and then persuading her to publish those private sonnets she wrote to celebrate their love, later collected in a volume titled Sonnets from the Portuguese. It is fair to say no one who has fallen in love, or wished to fall in love, in the past 150 years has escaped the allure of these sonnets.

 Talitha, Zakia, Thommo

Here is a picture of the group after the reading.

 Talitha, Kavita, Zakia, Thommo, Bobby, KumKum, Sunil, Joe

A fuller account follows. Please click below.