Poetry was the first form of literary expression and is the most enduring. This course will explore the power of poetic expression through such topics as poetry and song, love and nature as poetic themes, theories of poetry, women poets from Sappho to Plath, poetry and graphic art, and political poetry.
Fall 2014: Crewe (11)
Poetry and Poetic Theory (Identical to English 54.11)
As a fundamental course for people seriously interested in literature, English 54/CL 31 will track poetic theory and practice from classical antiquity (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Longinus) through the present by way of the early modern period (Philip Sidney et al.), Romanticism (e.g. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Kant, Burke, Shelley), Victorianism (Matthew Arnold, Oscar Wilde), and Modernism (T.S. Eliot, Walter Benjamin, William Empson, Virginia Woolf, Langston Hughes, et al.). For poetic theory, we will rely mainly on The Norton Anthology of Criticism and Theory, supplemented by Poetry in Theory, 1900-2000 (Blackwell). No single poetry anthology will be used, but we will study poetic examples at every stage. In addition to considering the "philosophy" of poetic composition in different historical periods and contexts, we will attend to the continuing interplay between poetic theory and practice (writers who are both theorists and practitioners will be of especial interest). (LIT)
Last Updated: 7/14/14