English | Seminar: Literary Form, Mode, and Theme
L460 | 2238 | Marks
L460 2238 MARKS
Seminar: Literary Form, Mode, and Theme
2:30p-3:45p TR (18) 3 CR.
ABOVE SECTION MEETS WITH CMLT C315 AND C515
TOPIC: THE LYRIC POEM
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, hymns, charms and oracles,
epigrams, and song lyrics. A few essays about poetry, often by well
known poets, will help direct our discussions. 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