English 180L

Lyric Verse

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2014 Hass, Robert L.
TTh 9:30-11 219 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Much of our reading will be accessible online. A list of books to come.


This is a course in the short poem in English, its past and its present. It’s been said that the short poem in English in the sixteenth century, alongside the development of the soliloquy in the theater, invented and staged the modern conception of subjectivity, of human inwardness. We will look at that claim and examine the way the short poem developed in English and American literature---a historical survey of the English and American lyrics, read next to and sometimes in contrast with contemporary poems which have been interested in creating an alternative space to lyric subjectivity. About two thirds of the class will be taken up with this journey. The last third will be a close look at three or four exemplary poets—William Butler Yeats, most likely; Wallace Stevens, perhaps Sylvia Plath or Frank O’Hara, and a couple of poets alive and practicing right now. I hope the choice of those poets will emerge from our conversation early in the course. The focus will be on the close reading of poems with a few side glances at theory of the lyric. Written work for the course will include a mix of critical and creative writing.   



Other Recent Sections of This Course

spring, 2020


Lyric Verse

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