Comparative Literature | The Lyric Poem
C515 | 1291 | Marks, H
Meets: TR 2:30-3:45 BH 235
**Course is being taught with L460 and CMLT C315
A practical course with emphasis on strategies of interpretation.
Our primary concern will be the interplay between literal and
figurative uses of language: when and how do poems mean what they
say, and when and how do they mean something else? We shall be
looking at the ways poems are shaped, the ways they begin and end,
their reliance on cliché, their ambiguous status as both private and
public statements, and their relations to their readers, to
tradition, and to one another. We’ll use a standard anthology of
poems in English (possibly the Norton), supplemented by brief
readings in classical and biblical poetry, in European poetry (with
opposite-face translations), and in such non-canonical forms as
nursery rhymes, national anthems, hymn, charms and oracles, pigrams,
and song lyrics. A few essays about poetry, often by well known
poets, will help direct our discussion. The course will conclude by
surveying the career of a single poet, possibly Dickinson or Hardy.
Written work: brief weekly exercises and two short critical ssays.
(Graduate students will also be expected to write a final paper.
There will also be a number of additional sessions and assignments
for graduates only in which the focus will be on secondary
literature and theory of the lyric.)