Old Poetics for New Poets|
We today tend to assume that poetry is lyrical, personal, emotional, and short. These assumptions are not universal truths but products of a specific historical moment; they were popularized by Romantic poets such as William Wordsworth at the turn of the 19th century. This class will explore poetry and poetics before Romanticism, when poems were as often public and political as personal, as often philosophical and scientific as emotional, as often book-length as quite short. These are poems in which metaphors are stretched to their furthest limits, and passions pop to life to figure in allegorical plots. In them, the lyric "I" is less important than the didactic "you," the narrative "he"/"she," or the satirical persona. We will explore the workings of different forms and figures in this old poetics, including meter, rhymes, couplets, personas, personifications, periphrases, and conceits. Wonderfully, some of these old techniques are in the ascendant again today: hip hop privileges rhyme, and post-humanism raises new questions about personification.
Students in this course will read poetry, but they will also write it. We will think about how older poetic techniques and tropes offer resources to new poets. Both trained and amateur poets are welcome!
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Literature)
||Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%
|SECTION 01 In-person only|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Poetry by John Donne, Abraham Cowley, John Milton, Andrew Marvell, Mary Wortley Montagu, Alexander Pope, John Gay, James Thomson, Thomas Gray, Edward Young, William Cowper, Charlotte Smith, and others, as well as critical/historical essays on these poems and theoretical readings in poetics.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Two analytical papers and frequent creative imitation assignments.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Contributes to fulfillment of ENGL major requirements:
Class of 22: Lit Hist. II, British Lit and Theory and Literary Forms concentrations, elective.
Class of 23 and beyond: Lit Hist. 2, British Lit, elective.
|Instructor(s): Smith,Courtney Weiss Times: ..T.R.. 08:50AM-10:10AM; Location: B2B3 SOUTH; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 25||SR major: 6||JR major: 6|| || |
|Seats Available: 3||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 3||JR non-major: 4||SO: 6||FR: 0|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 5||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 1||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 4|