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Lyric poems have a strange way of addressing time, winds, trees, or the dead. What does this tell us about the ambitions of lyric poetry and how we should approach it? In a Chats in the Stacks book talk at Olin Library, Jonathan Culler, Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature, discusses his book Theory of the Lyric published by Harvard University Press in June 2015. He examines ancient as well as modern poems and explores the Western lyric tradition.

Professor Culler has been President of the American Comparative Literature Association and chair of the departments of English, Comparative Literature, and Romance Studies at Cornell, as well as Senior Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2006. He currently serves as Secretary of the American Council of Learned Societies.