Course Instructor Days Times Room


This course will serve as both an introduction to poetry and an opportunity to consider how the  ways we encounter poetry shape our relation to it. We will think carefully about how a variety of different kinds of poems are constructed and practice strategies for reading, discussing, and interpreting poetry. In addition, we will spend time considering how a poem’s material context affects our understanding of that poem. How does the place where we find a poem shape our reading experience? What does it matter if we read a poem on tumblr, in a giant Norton anthology, or in a collection by the poet? In a book or on a phone? Performed on YouTube? What aspects of a poem might be emphasized or de-emphasized by different contexts? What’s the relation between Warsan Shires’ poems as read by herself and those same poems as spoken by Beyoncé in Lemonade? How does the long history of reading poems in anthologies matter to our ideas about poetry? Students will have the opportunity to shape the course, as each person will choose and assign poems to be read by the class as a whole.