“We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.” — William Butler Yeats
“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” — Percy Bysshe Shelley
“The poet is the priest of the invisible.” — Wallace Stevens
“Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.” — Aristotle
Our Visiting Poetry Scholar
Shanti Daffern is studying for her PhD at the University of Cambridge, where she is (Honorary) Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar and recipient of a Peterhouse Graduate Studentship. Her doctoral research concerns pilgrimage, both as a motif and practice, in Romantic poetry, with a focus on the writing of William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and John Clare. She also studied at Peterhouse as an undergraduate, before spending some time in the wild i.e. working in consulting in London. Her Master’s degree at Oxford, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, included research into Coleridge’s philosophy of colour, nineteenth-century commonplace books and eighteenth-century attitudes to the Psalms as sacred and literary texts, especially in the lectures and sermons of Robert Lowth and Thomas Warton. The relationship between poetry and faith has been an abiding theme of her research, especially as mediated through attitudes to place, landscape and attention.