English 180L

Lyric Verse

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2015 Falci, Eric
TTh 9:30-11 219 Dwinelle

Book List

See below.


In this course, we will investigate lyric poetry—its complex history, its intricate forms and practices, and some of its philosophical underpinnings and theoretical surround.  We’ll start by thinking about the so-called “roots of lyric,” not only Sappho and Greek lyric, but other forms and shapes that are deeply buried within the matrices of modern poetry—chants, spells, charms, riddles, curses.  Along the way, we’ll revisit some favorites from the English-language canon (Donne, Marvell, Blake, Keats, Hopkins, Dickinson, Stevens, Hughes, Moore, Bishop, Ashbery, Plath) as well as a handful of recent experiments.  We’ll pair various poems with various media (painting, music, comics, movies) and intellectual fields (history, ecology, cognitive science) in order to tease out some of the alternate currents running through the texts.  Reading assignments will be small, but dense.  In addition to a final exam, there will be one short essay (3-5 pages), and one longer essay (7-9 pages) that may be critical, historical, or a hybrid critical-creative piece.

Poems and essays will be available in a course reader or, whenever possible, electronically.  No books will be required.

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