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BBC Proms - 2010 - Proms Plus - Proms Literary Festival: Divine Poetry


Composer James MacMillan, whose music often reflects his Catholic faith, and religious poet Michael Symmons Roberts explore the relationship between poetry and the divine. From John Donne to Elizabeth Bishop to John Berryman, writers have used poetry to contemplate the sacred. And poetry has in turn inspired composers in their own exploration of the divine, from Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, a personal favourite of James Macmillan, to Alexander Scriabin's The Divine Poem which is part of tonight's BBC Prom. James Macmillan and Michael Symmons Roberts have often worked together to create new poems and new compositions. They join presenter Susan Hitch and an audience at the Royal College of Music to share their ideas on why poetry is the written form that lends itself to musings on the divine, why it continues to appeal to composers, and how music and language can illuminate each other. Recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music as part of this year's Proms Literary Festival. Producer: Allegra McIlroy.

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