Freshman Seminar 64p. Introduction to Lyric Poetry

Instructor: Gordon Teskey
TBA | Location: TBA

This is a seminar for first-year students that introduces lyric poetry from Asia, Europe, and North America. The seminar covers a wide range of time as well as place. We travel from ancient Greece and Rome to medieval Italy and France, from classical China, Japan, and Persia to Renaissance Europe, from the Romantic period in England, Germany, and France to contemporary America.

All poems not in English—in Greek, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Anglo Saxon, Italian, German, and French—will be studied in translation. Students with knowledge of any of these languages are encouraged to bring the originals into discussion and to use them for translation assignments.

The first purpose of the seminar is to provide knowledge of poetry from the past and from around the world. The second purpose of the seminar is to provide students with a grounding to write poetry themselves. Weekly exercises include posted comments, translations, and poems.

Lyric Poetry in Six Acts

Act I    Graeco-Roman and Medieval: Poetry of Violence, Fame, and Love 

Act II      Middle East: Poetry of Love and of Faith. Meditations on Death

Act III    China and Japanese: Poetry of Passion. Poetry of Reflection

Act IV    The Renaissance: Poetry as Art and about Art

Act V     The Romantics: Poetry as Expression

Act VI    The Modern Age: Poetry in a Dying World

This course satisfies the “Pre-1700 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.