Segments in this Video

Introduction: Shirt (01:52)


We think of a product's future when we make a purchase. Elisa New and others examine Robert Pinsky’s poem, “Shirt."

New York Fashion Week (02:24)

New travels to New York to better understand what goes into the making of a shirt. Stuart Weitzman, Johnson Hartig, and Betty Halbreich will provide insight. New meets Pinksy, who agrees to “turn his poem inside out.”

Fashion Labor (02:14)

Halbreich and fashion design students Bryan Barrientos and Xueyuan Jian discuss labor and the prevalence of low-paid immigrants. Pinsky discusses his stylish parents and the dehumanizing quality of labor.

Triangle Factory Fire (04:47)

Pinsky reads lines from his poem that allude to the deadly fire of 1911. Weitzman and Hartig recall the circumstances of the blaze.

Sweatshop Conditions (01:59)

Halbreich tells a fire-related story about Frances Perkins’, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s secretary of labor. Other participants discuss dangerous conditions that persist elsewhere in the world.

Iambic Pentameter (03:24)

New discusses Pinsky’s meter of "Shirt." The author allows readers to consider the making of clothing and the making of a poem.

Fabric and Colonialism (03:24)

New and others discuss madras and the romantic association of plaid with Scotland. Hartig alludes to a passage from "Shirt." New retraces the path of English colonialism and the slave trade.

Alluding to Others (04:10)

New asks Pinsky about his allusions to other poets. Pinsky talks about choosing ancestors and explains his admiration of Hart Crane and George Herbert. They discuss Irma, Herbert’s fictional, black descendant.

Credits: Shirt (00:43)

Credits: Shirt

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Part of the Series : Poetry in America
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



On this episode of Poetry in America, Harvard professor Elisa New discuses Shirt by Robert Pinsky; featuring Pinsky, Stuart Weitzman, Betty Halbreich, Johnson Hartig, and students at Parsons School of Design.

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL168674

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.