English | Introduction to Poetry
L205 | 2001 | Williams

11:15a-12:30p TR (25) 3 cr


"Why would anyone write a poem?"  "Why don't poets just say what they
mean?"  These are just a couple of the questions frequently asked by
people who find poetry an alien, incomprehensible thing.  Rather than
simply dismissing these questions out of hand, I hope that this
"Introduction to Poetry" will help students come up with some answers.
The course also seeks to show students that poetry is much more common in
the world around them than they might have initially thought, from song
lyrics to advertising slogans, from graffiti to jokes.  Anytime anyone
attempts to say something in which the WAY the thing is said is as
important as WHAT is being said, then the state of poetry is being
approximated.  We will be using a standard anthology of poetry (most
likely the NORTON INTRODUCTION TO POETRY) as well as some single-author
collections, contemporary and historic, to get a sense of the variety of
the form.  Student work will include a series of writing assignments, both
creative and interpretive, and a midterm and final.