How is the spoken word different from the written? How do we find music in language or even make it ourselves? This course will explore the performative and sonic aspects of writing and reading poetry—its orality, sounds, and rhythms. We will begin with some foundational ancient Greek and Roman texts, the oral beginnings of poetry and its rhetorical and philosophical theorization. We jump forward in time to focus mainly on European and American poetry of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries (both Anglophone and in translation), with a strong emphasis on later works. This trajectory will take us from traditional genres and forms such as pastoral, elegy, ode, and ballad, through to more recent work such as beat, slam, and sound poetry. In addition to reciting and analyzing poetry, you will also have the option to complete creative assignments. This course will challenge you to speak and to listen, to think creatively and critically, to discover how poetry on the page sings out loud.
Fulfills Communication within the Curriculum.