English | Introduction to Poetry
L205 | 15870 | Allen Salerno

Allen Salerno

9:05a-9:55a	MWF (25 students) 3 cr., A&H, IW.

This course is an introduction to poetry and, as such, aims to do
just that: introduce you to poetry in all its complexity, simplicity,
profundity, and puzzlement.  Throughout the term, we'll strive to
make ourselves better readers of poetry and better writers about it;
we'll sample a variety of poems from about four hundred years of
verse in an effort to grapple with just what poetry is and what it
does--and what effect it has on us as readers.  I've subtitled the
class "Poetic Sensibilities," and the twin meaning of "sensibility"
will provide a parameter for the course--the idea of practicality
joined with the older meaning of the word: something having to do
with sensation, feeling, and emotion.  In what ways does poetry make
sense?  How is it structured, and what formal elements (like
language, tone, and imagery) go into the expression of a poem?  How,
then, do these devices work to create the power of a poem, the
meaning we're supposed to receive, the feeling we're supposed to
feel?  Examining poetry's peculiar challenges will be our task this
semester, in discussion and writing.  This section of L205 carries an
intensive writing component, so be prepared to write and revise
regularly as you sharpen a critical approach to poetic texts.