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Unformatted text preview: Professor Susan McCabe Spring 2012 35242R / ARLT 100 How to Read a Poem: From Shakespeare to Hip Hop Class Meeting Times: MW 2-3:20 Location: VKC 154 Office Hours: W 12:30-1:30; or by appointment; email@example.com Course Description: This course is designed to train students in the close reading of poems and in the understanding of genre as an aesthetic, aural and historical phenomenon. It aims to introduce students to poetrys multiple forms and traditions. We will listen to recordings as well as have in-class readings of the poems under discussion. The course format combines lecture and discussion, and is designed to prepare students to enact close analysis in any field they choose. There are two taboos in this class: I warn you ahead of time: the notion that poetry can mean anything or alternatively, [you, i.e. the teacher or a student] are reading too much into the poemusually beginners in poetry analysis veer the other directionthey read too little into the poem. Thus, the class takes up the course title at every turn: how to read a poem. If a poem is well crafted, and is part of the discipline, even if it rebels against aspects of poetic literary history, a poem much be taken as a serious document with a poets choices considered in depth. The traditions of poetry we will explore are part of a long history and specialized approach to knowledge and the world; it is a discipline that needs to be considered on a par with any other disciplinemathematics, philosophy, the color spectrum, chemistry, music, law etc. It has its own forms and inherited practices; it has its own innovations. We will cover a range of texts, from Shakespeare through Romantic poetry to the present, examining the crossover between lyric poetry and more popular forms, including the use of poems in DJ sampling. The class is ambitious and will try to be semi-comprehensive though the scope of the class (due to temporal constraints) remains within the Anglo-American traditions. While we cannot hope to cover all materials, even those required in your reading, it is absolutely necessary that you attend all classes, and be prepared to discuss texts. It is also necessary to read all assigned materials before the class in which they are to be discussed. The syllabus highlights the poems I focus on but be sure to read all poems to enhance your understanding, and for possible use in writing assignments . The course relies upon you reading the poems repeatedly and actively in order to follow lectures...
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