ENGL 1915: Poetry and Poetic Form

3 CreditsFreshman Seminar

\"Poetry,\" William Wordsworth tells us, \"is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,\" but he goes on to insist that these emotions must be \"recollected in tranquillity,\" that is, they are put into some kind of form by the work of the poet. In this seminar, we will pay close attention to the powerful images, flights of intelligence, and depths of feeling that good poetry often provides, and we will also focus on technical matters such as rhyme and meter, the characteristics of various \"fixed forms\" (the sonnet, the villanelle, the pantoum) and \"open forms\" (the elegy, the ode), and on the special features of free verse. As part of their work as readers, students will be encouraged to experiment with writing in certain verse forms.

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