Literature & Writing

Poems for Study

Each lecture will delve into a work or selection from a group of works by a leading English or American poet: William Shakespeare’s sonnets, John Keats’s odes, Robert Browning’s (and Lord Tennyson’s) dramatic monologues, Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” Emily Dickinson’s lyrics and T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” The course will focus, first of all, on ways of reading poetry. Because the poems to be read were groundbreaking, we will review the received conventions of genre, form or style from which these writers innovated and the historical contexts in which they wrote. The poems themselves will be studied as significant in their own right, productions of consummate verbal artistry.

We will deal mostly with relatively short poems, to be circulated in advance for each class. Possible exceptions are Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” (of which we will discuss short passages yet to be selected) and Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” Both are readily available in libraries.

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GMU - Arlington Campus
Room 318
Sendry 10/31 - 12/12 We 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM $55.00 View