British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Arrows of Desire (3 Parts)

Synopsis
Three videos each containing four 25-minute programmes exploring the great diversity of English verse from the age of Chaucer to the present day. Traces the development of English verse through the ages, giving audiences an insight into the craft of the poet. Forms covered include love poems, satires, nature poems, elegies, devotional poems and comic verse. The poems range in level of difficulty from lower secondary to advanced study.
Each film module in the programmes deals with the work of a single writer, usually concentrating on just one poem. A contemporary poet reads a number of poems, comments on points of interest and gives his or her views about them as well as answering a number of core questions.

The interviews and readings are intercut and interspersed with appropriate visual material - still photographs, paintings, archive film, urban and rural landscapes, plus, crucially, all or part of the written text, in typescript and, where possible, in manuscript - occasionally looking at the poem in various drafts, watching its development on the page and in the poet’s own hand.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2002
Year of production
2001
Documentation
Programme notes are available for free download from www.channel4.com/programmenotes
Subjects
English language and literature
Keywords
poetry

Distribution Formats

Type
VHS
Format
PAL
Price
£19.99 each
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
3 x 25 minutes
Year
2003

Sections

Title
Arrows of Desire Video 1
Synopsis
This first video in the series contains four 25-minute programmes featuring the following poets:

Programme 1
The Tyger by William Blake (1757-1827)
Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
In Just by E E Cummings (1894-1962)
The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1982)

Programme 2
Prayer Before Birth by Louis MacNeice(1907-1963)
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost(1875-1963)
How Pleasant to Know Mr Lear by Edward Lear (1812-1888)
The Red Wheelbarrow and To a Poor Old Woman by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

Programme 3
Eden Rock by Carlos Causley (1917- )
In Westminster Abbey by John Betjeman(1906-1984)
Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

Programme 4
Do not go gently into that good night by Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)
At Grass by Philip Larkin(1922-1985)
Musee des Beaux Arts by W H Auden (1907-1973)
I heard a fly buzz when I died by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Duration
100 mins
Distributors ref
FD158282

Title
Arrows of Desire Video 2
Synopsis
This second video in the series contains four 25-minute programmes, featuring the following poets:

Programme 1
The Ruined Maid by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
Follower by Seamus Heaney (1939-)
In Mrs Tilscher’s Class by Carol Ann Duffy (1955-)
Gipsies by John Clare (1793-1864)

Programme 2
The Willing Mistress by Aphra Benn (1640-1689)
An Irish Airman forsees his Death by W B Yeats (1865-1939)
Lines Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Adlestrop by Edward Thomas (1878-1917)

Programme 3
The Flea by John Donne (1571-1631)
A Letter from Marie Curie by Lavinia Greenlaw (1962-)
Naming of Parts by Henry Reed (1914-1986)
A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Programme 4
Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith (1902-1971)
What were they like? by Denise Levertov (1923-1997)
Piano by DH Lawrence (1885-1930)
From the Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Duration
100 mins
Distributors ref
FD448462

Title
Arrows of Desire Video 3
Synopsis
This third video in the series contains four 25-minute programmes, featuring the following poets:

Programme 1
You will be hearing from us shortly by UA Fanthorpe (1929-)
This Living Hand by John Keats (1795-1821)
Front Lines and As the Cricket’s Soft Autumn Hymn by Gary Snyder (1930-
Illuminations by Tony Harrison (1937-)

Programme 2
Sonnet 130 My Mistres Eyes are Nothing like the Sunne by William Shakespeare )1564-1616)
On the Farm by RS Thomas (1913-2000)
This is a Hymn by Lorna Goodison (1947-)
Verses on the Death of Dr Swift by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Programme 3
An Advertisement for the Waldorf Astoria by Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
Of Many Worlds in this World by Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673)
The Arrival of the Bee Box by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)

Programme 4
They Fle from Me that Sometyme did me seke by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)
Jubilato Agno by Christopher Smart (1722-1771)
In a Station of the Metro and Alba by Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
History of the Airplane by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-)
Duration
100 mins
Distributors ref
FD448039

Sponsor

Name

Channel Four Television

Phone
071-396 4444
Address
LONDON
SW1P 2TX

Distributor

Name

4 Learning

Notes
Channel 4 Learning has now closed. This used to be the educational broadcasting arm of Channel 4. The online shop sold educational DVDs and CD-ROMs for use in primary and secondary schools.

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 1391 times.