Sad, but true. Many folks who enjoy reading fiction, drama, and memoirs feel considerably less comfortable with poetry. Our course will address this anxiety head on. Through close-textual analyses and strategic contextual sorties, we will examine and experience why poetry has provided pleasure to peoples throughout human history. Our close-reading will engage traditional Forms-ballad, sonnet, villanelle, lyric, epic. Contextually we will explore cultures as disparate as Homeric Greece, ancient Tamil and Tang and Popul Vuh and Hebrew civilizations, and Native American and modernist works from the U.S. Our course will also foreground student writing, by way of two analytic papers, one poem of each person's crafting, and individual tutorials.
This course fulfills the Humanities requirement.
William Veeder is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English Language and Literature and the College. He has taught courses on American and British Gothic literature of the 19th century, contemporary fiction, and on specific figures such as Henry James and Ambrose Bierce. He is the author or coauthor of various books such as Mary Shelley & Frankenstein: the Fate of Androgyny; Henry James, the Lessons of the Master: Popular Fiction and Personal Style in the Nineteenth Century; The Woman Question: Society and Literature in Britain and America, 1837-1883; and Henry James: Lessons of the Master as well as essays on 19th and 20th-century Anglo- American gothic texts, psychoanalysis, gender issues, and popular culture.