English 26

Introduction to the Study of Poetry

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2014 Gardezi, Nilofar
MWF 12-1 101 Wheeler

Book List

Ramazani , Jahan (Ed.): The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry: Volumes 1 & 2; 3rd Edition


This course is designed to develop students’ ability and confidence in reading, analyzing, and understanding poetry. Through the course of the semester, we will read a wide range of modern and contemporary poets, beginning with Walt Whitman and ending with Rita Dove. We will work as “curious readers,” letting our interest unencumber us of notions of what the study of poetry is or should be. Instead, we will proceed with questions—e.g., What does the poem’s title tell or promise us? Who is the speaker and what does s/he know or feel? What sounds are active in the poem? Does the poem use any strange words?—and pay particular attention to poetic form, rhythm and sound, figurative language, and imagery. In this way, we will cultivate our own readerly technique and come into close conversation with the poems that we read.

This will be a reading- and discussion-intensive course designed for prospective majors and transfer students looking to understand poetry and learn how to write about it critically. 

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