B: Reading, examining, annotating
poems and poets
This program is for poets who want to focus on ways to more deeply enjoy poetry. We will read widely, from all cultures and eras, with the idea that poems are messages sent to us. As Ed Hirsh says in his wonderful book, How To Read a Poem and Fall in Love With Poetry, Read these poems in the middle of the night…they have come from a great distance to find you.
Block I: The American lyric tradition, from Whitman and Dickinson to the present day.
Block II: Poems in translation, learning to differentiate between translations, to appreciate the differences in cultural significance.
Block III: The classics, from antiquity to Shakespeare, including Homer, Sappho, Lucretius, Dante, Petrarch, Donne. (An alternative might be the 19th century Romantic poets, for example; or just the Roman poets; or excerpts from selected epics, like Gilgamesh, as a way to learn how epic structure prefigured the notion of history and expressed cultural parameters of the time.)