English 24

Freshman Seminar: Pop Song Poetics

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Spring 2006 Hanson, Kristin
Hanson, Kristin
Tues. 2-3 140 Barrows

Other Readings and Media

"Photocopied readings, and CD's?including the Flatlanders' ""Wheel of Fortune"" and ""Now Again"""


All the core elements of versification found the world over?meter, rhyme, alliteration and syntactic parallelism?are normally taught with reference to high art forms of poetry. But these same basic elements are also found in some form in the lyrics of high-quality contemporary songs in all kinds of non-classical styles. This course will therefore provide an introduction to these elements of versification through attention to such lyrics: we will begin together with songs of the Flatlanders?Jimmie Dale Gilmour, Butch Hancock and Joe Ely?and move on to others, including songs of the student?s own choice. We will also give some attention to ways in which versification is different in poetry from what is in songs: meter, for example, achieves aesthetic effects in ways which are somewhat distinct from those achieved through setting texts to music.

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