full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Natalie Merchant: Singing old poems to life

Unscramble the Blue Letters

I became very curious about the poets after spending six years with them, and started to research their lives, and then decided to write a book about it. And the burning question about Alma-Tadema was: Did she marry? And the answer was no, which I found in the London Times archive. She died alone in 1940 in the cpnoamy of her books and her dear fndries. Gerard mnlaey hiknops, a santily man. He became a Jesuit. He converted from his Anglican faith. He was moved to by the Tractarian Movement, the Oxford moemvnet, otherwise known as — and he became a jiuset priest. He burned all his poetry at the age of 24 and then did not write another poem for at least seven years because he couldn't recftiy the life of a poet with the life of a priest. He died typhoid fever at the age of 44, I believe, 43 or 44. At the time, he was teaching classics at Trinity College in Dublin. A few years before he died, after he had resumed writing poetry, but in secret, he confessed to a friend in a letter that I found when I was doing my research: "I've written a vesre. It is to explain death to a child, and it deserves a piece of plain-song music." And my blood froze when I read that because I had written the plain-song music 130 years after he'd wirtetn the lteter. And the poem is called, "Spring and Fall."

Open Cloze

I became very curious about the poets after spending six years with them, and started to research their lives, and then decided to write a book about it. And the burning question about Alma-Tadema was: Did she marry? And the answer was no, which I found in the London Times archive. She died alone in 1940 in the _______ of her books and her dear _______. Gerard ______ _______, a _______ man. He became a Jesuit. He converted from his Anglican faith. He was moved to by the Tractarian Movement, the Oxford ________, otherwise known as — and he became a ______ priest. He burned all his poetry at the age of 24 and then did not write another poem for at least seven years because he couldn't _______ the life of a poet with the life of a priest. He died typhoid fever at the age of 44, I believe, 43 or 44. At the time, he was teaching classics at Trinity College in Dublin. A few years before he died, after he had resumed writing poetry, but in secret, he confessed to a friend in a letter that I found when I was doing my research: "I've written a _____. It is to explain death to a child, and it deserves a piece of plain-song music." And my blood froze when I read that because I had written the plain-song music 130 years after he'd _______ the ______. And the poem is called, "Spring and Fall."

Solution

  1. letter
  2. jesuit
  3. written
  4. hopkins
  5. friends
  6. saintly
  7. movement
  8. rectify
  9. verse
  10. company
  11. manley

Original Text

I became very curious about the poets after spending six years with them, and started to research their lives, and then decided to write a book about it. And the burning question about Alma-Tadema was: Did she marry? And the answer was no, which I found in the London Times archive. She died alone in 1940 in the company of her books and her dear friends. Gerard Manley Hopkins, a saintly man. He became a Jesuit. He converted from his Anglican faith. He was moved to by the Tractarian Movement, the Oxford Movement, otherwise known as — and he became a Jesuit priest. He burned all his poetry at the age of 24 and then did not write another poem for at least seven years because he couldn't rectify the life of a poet with the life of a priest. He died typhoid fever at the age of 44, I believe, 43 or 44. At the time, he was teaching classics at Trinity College in Dublin. A few years before he died, after he had resumed writing poetry, but in secret, he confessed to a friend in a letter that I found when I was doing my research: "I've written a verse. It is to explain death to a child, and it deserves a piece of plain-song music." And my blood froze when I read that because I had written the plain-song music 130 years after he'd written the letter. And the poem is called, "Spring and Fall."

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
li la 32
la li 31
ooh hoo 4
innocent slumber 2
robert graves 2
nathalia crane 2
desert isle 2

Important Words

  1. age
  2. anglican
  3. answer
  4. archive
  5. blood
  6. book
  7. books
  8. burned
  9. burning
  10. called
  11. child
  12. classics
  13. college
  14. company
  15. confessed
  16. converted
  17. curious
  18. dear
  19. death
  20. decided
  21. deserves
  22. died
  23. dublin
  24. explain
  25. faith
  26. fall
  27. fever
  28. friend
  29. friends
  30. froze
  31. gerard
  32. hopkins
  33. jesuit
  34. letter
  35. life
  36. lives
  37. london
  38. man
  39. manley
  40. marry
  41. moved
  42. movement
  43. music
  44. oxford
  45. piece
  46. poem
  47. poet
  48. poetry
  49. poets
  50. priest
  51. question
  52. read
  53. rectify
  54. research
  55. resumed
  56. saintly
  57. secret
  58. spending
  59. started
  60. teaching
  61. time
  62. times
  63. tractarian
  64. trinity
  65. typhoid
  66. verse
  67. write
  68. writing
  69. written
  70. years