English R1A

Reading and Composition: The Self and Lyric Form

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Fall 2016 Viragh, Atti
MWF 1-2 80 Barrows

Book List

Carruth, Hayden: The Voice that is Great Within Us: American Poetry of the Twentieth Century; Ramazani, Jahan: Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry: Volume 1


 "I longed to be that thing, / The pure, sensuous form," writes Theodore Roethke, in a poem about watching a young snake glide out of the shadows. American poets from a wide variety of backgrounds and traditions have imagined poetic form as a space of self-creation or self-exploration. Far from being a conventionalized structure through which ideas pass, literary form for many poets becomes a site of longing, projection, embodiment, and more. Using concepts of the self taken from modern psychology, this course will examine how poets set out to discover and assert something of their identity that is made available to them when they experiment with poetic elements such as line-breaks, narrative, voice, and the lyric “I.” We will put language under a microscope in order to answer the enormous question of how poets encounter the self through the pure, sensuous constructs of lyric form.

The goals of this class are to develop your abilities to read closely, critically and sensitively; to persuasively argue for unique and significant interpretations of your reading; and to craft your own writing with the same attentiveness that we will be giving to the poetry we are reading.


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