WGBH Openvault

Poetry from M.I.T.; Robert Graves

Part of From the Vault. Part of Nine Poets Walk Into An Institute of Technology.


In this recording, Robert Graves delivers the Twelfth Arthur Dehon Little Memorial Lecture, an address titled "Nine Hundred Iron Chariots." Established nearly two decades earlier in order to "promote interest in and stimulate discussion of the social implications inherent in the development of science," earlier Little Lectures had been delivered by luminaries such as Detlev W. Bronk, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Leo Szilard. Graves, was the first literary figure to assume the role, and was given a lengthy introduction for the occasion by MIT President Julius Adams Stratton. Warning the audience that the first part of his lecture "is pretty alright" but that “it gets a bit wild toward the end,” Graves's lecture explores the relationship between poets and scientists, whom, in his estimation, "evidently stand at the opposite extremes of contemporary thought," with the former focusing on "internal truth," and the latter on "external fact." Praising MIT for its emphasis on the humanities, but questioning the institution's relative indifference toward the contributions of women, his lecture culminates by alluding to a story from the Book of Judges concerning the triumph of Barak and Deborah over Sisera, and he concludes by asking the assembled hall to “forgive me if I have offended. I am only a poet.” Summary and select metadata for this record was submitted by Jim Cocola.

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Poetry from M.I.T.
Robert Graves
Series Description

Radio series. Series release date: 1963

Program Description




Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Artistic Influences
Poetry readings (Sound recordings)
Nine Hundred Iron Chariots
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Art and Science
Arthur Dehon Little Memorial Lecture
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Graves, Robert, 1895-1985
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Performance for a Live Audience
Event Coverage
Graves, Robert, 1895-1985 (Speaker)
Publication Information
Copyright © 1963 by The Trustees of the Robert Graves Copyright Trust
Chicago: “Poetry from M.I.T.; Robert Graves,” 05/14/1963, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 24, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/A_E2043B1A0FD144ED8E01795240C97CC2.
MLA: “Poetry from M.I.T.; Robert Graves.” 05/14/1963. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 24, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/A_E2043B1A0FD144ED8E01795240C97CC2>.
APA: Poetry from M.I.T.; Robert Graves. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/A_E2043B1A0FD144ED8E01795240C97CC2
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.