Through the study of a wide variety of poems from the Renaissance to the present, students in this seminar will expand their familiarity with the sweep of modern English-language poetry and will develop a thorough understanding of fundamental poetic concepts—especially those concepts related to the question of “the person in the poem”: “author,” “voice,” “persona,” “address,” “personification,” “representation,” and “referentiality.” These are all concepts essential to the advanced study of poetry and of literature more comprehensively. We’ll sharpen our understanding of these concepts in our close readings and discussions of major poems by authors including W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Alexander Pope, Claudia Rankine, Adrienne Rich, William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and William Wordsworth. These poetic works will be complemented by our study of some essential works of modern poetic theory. Course requirements will include several short essays and a variety of in-class exercises, including recitation, memorization, and imitation as well as active participation in seminar discussion. (No mid-term or final exams.)
This course also fulfills the Theory and Cultural Studies Concentration (AETC) of the English Major.