English 143B


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2022 Holiday, Harmony
MW 12:30-2 Wheeler 305


Musician and poet Sun Ra once noted, after writing a requiem for a former band member this is the first time a black man received his very own requiem. We’ll be reading and writing and close listening to music with the elegiac in mind, studying comparative versions of elegies and requiem and odes. How does the human need to commemorate life and death and the glories and atrocities in between construct a poetics and a poet’s approach to language? We’ll read Fred Moten, Frank O’Hara, Lucie Brock-Boido, Kamau Brathwaite, Michael Harper, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, and many others. We’ll close-listen to albums by Sun Ra, Miles Davis, Kendrick Lamar, Abbey Lincoln, Mary Lou Williams, Duke Ellington and others. We’ll try and unpack the idea that elegies are for the living, are documents aimed at resurrection as much as homage. We’ll examine how we constantly search for language that helps us say goodbye to the present and renew ourselves.

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