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LCLC Summer Programme: Italian Poetry & Portraiture

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

In this seminar series about Italian poetry and portraiture, we dove into the world of medieval and modern poetry to evaluate how poets painted portraits with words.

In the first of two seminars, we were introduced to two Italian poems by Guido Guinizzelli and Ugo Foscolo, beautifully read and explained by Dr Catherine Keen and Dr Beatrice Sica from University College London before having time to contribute our own thoughts on the poems. It was amazing for me to be exposed to a diversity of ideas, some of which I would not have come up with single-handedly, and have my perspective broadened by my fellow students taking part in the seminar.

The second seminar featured two new poems by William Shakespeare and Aldo Palazzeschi with a full comparison and analysis on how each poet achieved their goals in portraying themselves or others in as much, or as little, detail as they intended. It was interesting to explore the ways in which the style of poetry has evolved over time, revealing to us how society has also developed over the centuries, and really evaluate the poets techniques. This has proven very useful for me as a budding poet, and I feel exceedingly lucky to have been given this opportunity.

I want to truly thank Dr Keen, Dr Sica, and Hollie for this wonderful taster of a university lecture, they have nourished me with curiosity and an open-mind for the future that awaits!

By Zaira Christa Barakat

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