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Yeats’s Leda and the Swan: the power of poetry

13 minutes

The brevity and beauty of Yeats’s verses reveal poetry’s enduring significance

William Butler Yeats’s sonnet ‘Leda and the Swan’ (1928) reinterprets the rape of the Greek mythological figure Leda by the god Zeus in the form of a swan. In just 14 lines and 113 words, Yeats provokes a powerful, unnerving aesthetic experience, using both language and form to explore the transition from ancient mythology to modern Western history. In this close reading, the American blogger Evan Puschak analyses the work in a historical context, and through the lens of Yeats’s views on the ebbs and flows of history as laid out in his book A Vision (1925).

Video by The Nerdwriter

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10 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Beauty & Aesthetics

Why do audiences thrill to the negative emotions of horror fiction?

6 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

On the US-Mexico border, loved ones on both sides can see each other but cannot touch

12 minutes

Idea/Stories & Literature

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Essay/Stories & Literature

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Martin Puchner

Video/Sports & Games

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15 minutes

Idea/Travel

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Liam Heneghan

Essay/Cultures & Languages

Talking gibberish

The study of languages has long been prone to nonsense. Why is linguistics such a magnet for dilettantes and crackpots?

Gaston Dorren

Video/Sports & Games

Looking like time travellers from a bygone era, sumo wrestlers gather for a competition

3 minutes