Poetry, Poetry Theory and Poetry Practices
Full course description
Poetry usually falls under the general heading of literature. Literature however is a relatively recent concept as well as a recent cultural institution and it seems that one of the main goals of poetry theory of the last centuries has been to give poetry a firm literary profile. Looking at western modern poetry and its reception, this goal has certainly been reached, even to an extent that what poetry could and should be, seems to be realized in this western modern tradition that turned poetry into words-on-the-page. However, to some critics and scholars this traditional mode of poetry, focused on the printed page and dominated by white male poets, is in serious decline and a new mode of poetry, Spoken Word, led by poets of colour and aimed at a younger audience, will inevitably take over and perhaps already took over.
In the course The Future of Literature? HUM2047 we will study Spoken Word as a new mode of poetry. In this course, we will study the still vital tradition of ‘page poetry’ and the often neglected role of women poets in this. Not only white women poets but also women poets of colour wrote their poetry in this traditional mode, and still do, but what is more important, they often transformed it. Here are some women poets we are going to read and study: Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Maya Angelou, Adrienne Rich, Sylvia Plath, Louise Glück. Students are encouraged to choose women poets of their first language for their mini-essays and final essay.
The main aims of this course are:
- To acquaint the students with the theory and practice of modern western poetry.
- To identify mechanisms of exclusion in poetry history
- To provide students with tools for analysing poetry
- To develop an individual case study on women poets.
- Reference list (MU library), E-reader.
- Online sources.