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Lyric Poetry and Music: The Color and Politics of Cry, Sound, and Voice

ENGL 304
Fall 2014
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: AMST 302
Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory

Lyric poetry is often said to be the most musical of literary forms. In one of its basic definitions, the lyric poem begins after the overhearing of a sound. This sound may be familiar and pleasant, like the timbre and cadence of a lover's voice. Or it may be unrecognizable and terrifying. It may be imbricated with other senses and feelings, provoking a memory that stimulates a sense of touch, smell, or the image of a certain kind of light. Or it may stimulate a sense of horror at the inevitability of oblivion. In any of these cases, sound is thought to give rise to composition and to the poet's effort to reshape memory and experience in lyric form. But such articulations do not always come out as evenly as this description may imply. Indeed, moans, screams, stutters, cries, and the madness of possession by the Muses are part of lyric's history and practice. In this course, we will read from the African American, black diasporic, Caribbean, and Latina/o poetic traditions, and we will consider their relation to Homeric and African griot traditions and to musical forms of the U.S. South and the Caribbean, such as the blues, son, bomba, biguine, jazz, reggae, and salsa. We will study the dynamic between lyric speakers and the musicians embodied in the words of blues and jazz poems and the relationship between hip-hop and dub and slam poetries.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ENGL)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on APR-20-2024
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