Your NPR news source

Poet Rachel Jamison Webster and filmmaker Spencer Parsons read from T.S. Eliot's The Four Quartets

In this week’s installment of The Gift poetry series, Poet Rachel Jamison Webster and filmmaker Spencer Parsons read from T.S.Eliot’s The Four Quartets.

SHARE Poet Rachel Jamison Webster and filmmaker Spencer Parsons read from T.S. Eliot's The Four Quartets
Poet Rachel Jamison Webster and filmmaker Spencer Parsons read from T.S. Eliot's The Four Quartets

Universe of Poetry/file

When you mention T.S. Eliot and then refer to texts like The Waste Land or his magnum opus The Four Quartets you generally elicit discomfort, anger or suspicion. The feeling is that these texts are highly revered, but off limits. The fact is they are getting dusty on the shelves of university libraries. The Gift Series Producer Stanzi Vaubel found that when she took them off the shelves and asked Professors Rachel Jamison Webster and Spencer Parsons to talk about and perform these texts, they began to take on a re-activated meaning that has everything to do with now.

For the month of August The Gift poetry series will drop inside five literary works. These pieces are radio essays. They do not claim to be definitive or scholarly responses to these great historical texts. Instead, each piece comes out of the emotional and psychological journey taken by the listener, becoming a conversation that resonates with our own inner thoughts.

In this week’s installment, Poet Rachel Jamison Webster and filmmaker Spencer Parsons read from T.S.Eliot’s The Four Quartets.

First launched in April 2013 to celebrate National Poetry Month, WBEZ now continues our weekly series, The Gift – produced by Stanzi Vaubel and curated by Rachel Jamison Webster, author of September: Poems. This project is a collaboration with UniVerse of Poetry, a station partner that aims to celebrate poets from every nation in the world. Each piece drops us into a poets’ inner life, reminding us of the gift of being human among others.

The Latest
Liesl Olson started as director at The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum earlier this month. She joins WBEZ to talk about her future plans for this landmark of Chicago history. Host: Melba Lara; Reporter: Lauren Frost
Politics
The city faces criticism for issuing red light camera tickets at intersections where yellow lights fall slightly short of the city’s 3-second policy. And many traffic engineers say the lights should be even longer.
There was a time Chicago gave New York a run for its money. How did we end up the Second City?
Union Gen. Gordon Granger set up his headquarters in Galveston, Texas, and famously signed an order June 19, 1865, “All slaves are free.” President Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday last year.
As the U.S. celebrates the second federal holiday honoring Juneteenth, several myths persist about the origins and history about what happened when enslaved people were emancipated in Texas.