American Poetry Seminar: The American Line
This course will consider American innovations in the poetic line. We will pay attention to the music of the individual line, working our way through the complications of prosody. Our readings will begin with Walt Whitman’s unending lines and Emily Dickinson’s painfully brief ones. From these foundational poles in American verse, we will go on to measure key revolutions in the line in the twentieth century, including modernist poetic instigations, formal properties of the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance, lines driven by breath in beat and confessional verse, as well as more recent experiments in language. Active participation, two short essays, and a final research paper.