English 205W: Poetry

Chaucer_Hoccleve_cleanwhiteThe lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.  —  Geoffrey Chaucer, Parliament of Fowls

Chaucer’s famous words regarding the difficulty of writing poetry apply equally as well to the craft of writing about poetry.  Keeping the brevity of our semester in mind, this writing-intensive course is designed to introduce students to the particulars and pleasures of reading and writing about poetry.  Though the course will not run in strict chronological order, our first readings will include poetry in Old English (The Wanderer, several riddles from the Exeter Book, etc.) and Middle English (Chaucer, The Harley Lyrics, etc.).  Though we’ll spend a great deal of time with lyric and formal poetry (especially as typified by early modern poets including Donne, Shakespeare, and Herbert), we’ll also explore contemporary approaches to form, free verse, and experimental poetics.  We’ll study individual, anthologized poems as well as books of poetry by single authors (including Albert Goldbarth, Laura Newbern, and others).  Students will be asked to attend poetry readings, to seek complementary materials for their required texts, to engage actively with course material and discussions, and to try writing poems themselves.  There will be quizzes on memorization and the particulars of verse (scansion, form identification, etc.), a translation project, several short close readings, and a lengthier project of student design.  Students will also develop and maintain personal webpages as part of Domain of One’s Own at Emory.

Emory University, Fall 2014
TTH 2:30-3:45, Emerson Hall E103

For the syllabus, course schedule, and assignments, visit the course website.
Click here for Emory’s guidelines regarding the Post-Freshman Writing Requirement and writing intensive courses.
Click here for more information about Domain of One’s Own at Emory.

Required Texts:

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