English 90

Practices of Literary Study: Introduction to the Study of Poetry

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2021 Francois, Anne-Lise
TTh 3:30-5 120 Wheeler

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How can we become more appreciative, alert readers of poetry and at the same time better writers of prose?
How do poems use language differently than other forms of expression? How do they know how to say things
without actually saying them? This course attends to the rich variety of poems written in English, drawing on
the works of poets from William Shakespeare to Frank O’Hara, Coleridge to M. NourbeSe Philip, Emily
Dickinson to Li-Young Lee. We will use exercises in listening to, reading aloud, performing and memorizing
poems to familiarize ourselves with a number of different forms, including riddles, songs, sonnets, odes,
villanelles, and ballads, while also engaging topics such as meter, rhyme, the poetic line, and figurative
language. Through sustained discussions of individual poems and varied writing assignments, you will have the
chance to explore some of the major periods, modes, and genres in English poetry and to expand the
possibilities of your own writing.


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