Comparative Literature | Literary Studies & Religion: The Poetry of Mysticism
C645 | 1245 | Paul Losensky
MW 9:30-10:45 BH 317
This section meets with C347
Mystics and ecstatics throughout the ages have yearned to escape the
limitations of world and self in search of a transcendent reality.
This course will explore the forms, images, and rhetorical strategies
that poets from diverse literary traditions have used to render this
ineffable quest in language and to describe the indescribable. Short
readings from modern scholars will help us define the varieties of
mystical experience, but most of the course will be devoted to an in-
depth examination of works such as Plotinus's Enneads, the Bhagavad-
Gita, the Sufi poetry of Rumi and Ibn al-Farid, "The Spiritual
Canticle" and Ballads of St. John of the Cross, and Walt Whitman's
Leaves of Grass. We will supplement these major texts with a
selection of short readings.