English 26

Literature In English: Introduction to Poetry

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2020 Marno, David
MW 5-6:30 106 Dwinelle

Book List

Recommended: Ferguson, Margaret : The Norton Anthology of Poetry; Greene, Roland: The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics


What is poetry and why should we care? This course offers an introduction into poetry by discussing a wide range of poems written or translated into English as well as definitions and theories of poetry from Aristotle to the present. We will attend to verse forms from the sonnet to the ghazal; to poetic devices from the line to simile and metaphor; and to poetic functions such as voice and speaker. We will be reading works of poets from John Donne to Elizabeth Bishop and John Ashbery, from William Shakespeare to Mina Loy and Gwendolyn Brooks, as well as a range of poems in translation, including psalms and troubadour lyrics. No familiarity with poetry is necessary, only the will to think about particular poems and poetry in general.

Recommended books are the Norton Anthology of Poetry (ed. Margaret Ferguson) and the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (eds. Roland Greene and Stephen Cushman). However, I will also provide links for the poems we read in the course.

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

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