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Reading Poems

Class at Faculty of Arts |


22 FebIntroduction1 MarRobert Herrick, “Gather ye Rosebuds while ye may,” “Ah Ben! Say how or when,” “Fair Pledges of a Fruitful Tree,” “Ye have been fresh and green”Ben Jonson, “Thou art not, Penshurst,” “Here lies, to each her parents’ ruth,” “Fine Madam Would-be, wherefore should you fear”George Herbert: “Church Monuments,” “Peace”Frederick Seidel, “Surf’s Up”*8 MarA. E.

Housman, “Reveille”Mother Goose rhymesJeffrey Yang, “Devil”*Vona Groarke, “Vanishing Point”*A. E.

Stallings, “For a Young Turkish Violinist”*Robert Scholes, “Reading Poetry: A Lost Art”, from The Crafty Reader^15 MarAnge Mlinko, “A Midsummer Night’s Work”*Catherine Barnett, “The Sky Flashes”*Ben Lerner, “The Pistil”*22 MarThomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country ChurchyardNate Klug, “The Pokémon Go People”*Henri Cole, “Black Mushrooms”*Jane Yeh, “A Short History of Style”*Jonathan Culler, “Lyric, History and Genre”^29 MarSamuel Taylor Coleridge, “Inscription for a Fountain on a Heath”Christina Rosetti, “The irresponsive silence of the land...”Stephanie Burt, The Poem is You (chapters on James Merrill, Rae Armantrout, Lucie Brock-Broido)^5 AprWilliam Wordsworth, “Elegiac Stanzas Suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle, in a Storm, painted by Sir George Beaumont”, “Ode (There was a time when meadow…)”Adrienne Rich, poems^12 AprMutlu Konuk Blasing, Introduction, Lyric Poetry: The Pain and Pleasure of Words^Anonymous, “In somer when the shawes be sheyne”William Barnes, “The aïr to gi'e your cheäks a hue”, "I got two fields"Thomas Traherne, “How Like an Angel came I down”19 Apr: National Holiday26 AprWilliam Wordsworth, "Yew Trees"John Clare, "Beside a runnel build my shed"William Blake, "The Little Vagabond"Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Mariana"John Marston, "The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale"Jorie Graham, "It Cannot Be" [handout]3 MayJahan Ramazani, “Poetry and the News,” from Poetry and Its Others^Walter Savage Landor, "Lines to a Dragon-Fly"Angela Leighton, "Pickpocket, Naples"10 MayH. D. poems^Rupi Kaur poems^17 MaySusan Stewart, “Lyric Possession”^Atticus poems^Dylan Thomas poems^24 MayStudents prepare a 5 minute presentation that reviews the course.

For instance, you may like to cover the areas of knowledge and skills that the course provided, or consider how it fits with other courses at the dept. The floor will be yours.*Poems marked with an asterisk can be found in the file “Reading Poems Reader” on the IS in the course description (available in both DOCX and PDF formats).^Texts marked with a caret can be found on the IS.

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In this course we will spend the semester close-reading a wide range of poems – from the extraordinary explosion of lyric in the English seventeenth century to the present day, as we follow work that is published contemporaneously with the course each week in various outlets. We’ll look at varieties of poetic device (rhyme, rhythm, stanzas, modernist disjunction), as well as exploring the ways in which the lyric has been used for political, spiritual and amatory expression.

As a genre, poetry is often overlooked in broader cultural debates, so every second week or so, we’ll also have a reading from lyric theory in order to illuminate the ways in which poetic discourse connects with such discussion. As a reference work, students should consult The Princeton Encylopedia of Poetry and Poetics.

Most importantly, the course will emphasize the pleasure of reading poems.