English | Introduction to Poetry
L205 | 6816 | Nick Williams

Nick Williams

6816 - 11:15a-12:30p TR (25 students) 3 cr. A&H, IW.

“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 one single-author collection, to get a sense of the
variety of the form.  Student work will include a series of short (1-
2pp) writing assignments, 2 or 3 longer (4-5 pp.) interpretative
essays, a mid-term and final.