Reading poetry is for everyone! This course is an introduction to the study of poetry, providing both the technical knowledge and tools useful for appreciating poetry, as well as an overview of the history of world poetry. We will read and discuss some of the finest and most memorable poems ever written. These will include examples of classical, medieval and modern European poetry in Latin, Greek, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Czech, by some of the most famous European poets (such as Horace, Petrarch, Spenser, Goethe, Schiller, Coleridge, Pushkin, Baudelaire, Rilke, Garcilaso de la Vega, and Mácha), but also examples from non-European languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit and Tamil. The temporal range will be from ancient Indian poems composed about 1500 BCE to poems about the civil war in Sri Lanka written in 2015. All explanations and discussions will of course be in English, but for most poems we will look at the original language text as well as English translations by ourselves and others (which will provide us with the opportunity to discuss issues of translations as well). The course is intended for anyone interested in exploring poetry in a less familiar language, and no language skills will be a prerequisite.
This course fulfills the non-Western requirement
Sascha Ebeling is an Associate Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. His book Colonizing the Realm of Words: The Transformation of Tamil Literature in Nineteenth-Century South India was published by SUNY Press in 2010. He is working on two projects: a history of contemporary Tamil writing which will map the genealogies of Tamil literary production from a global perspective; and a monograph which will address the connections between Western imperialism, Asian modernities, and the global history of the novel.