Poem introduction

One of my favourite episodes from Don Juan is the grimly comic scene at sea after Juan and his tutor Pedrillo have been shipwrecked. The 16-year-old Juan has been caught trying to escape from his married lover Julia’s bedroom; she has been hustled off to a nunnery in disgrace, and Juan’s mother has sent him on a long sea voyage for his education. Here he is, with Pedrillo and some of the crew, in the longboat.

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Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in the lyrical nature of poetry. I find that the more I’ve taken in...

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