english 150: introduction to poetry
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English 150: Introduction to Poetry
English 150:Introduction to PoetrySeptember 4, 2016
ObjectiveUnderstand Common Definitions of PoetryRecognize Major Styles of Poetry
PoetryThink of 3 words describing poetryHow would you define poetry?What is a poem?
DefinitionsOxford English Dictionary: A piece of writing or an oral composition, often characterized by a metrical structure, in which the expression of feelings, ideas, etc., is typically given intensity or flavour by distinctive diction, rhythm, imagery, etc.; a composition in poetry or verse (OED Online).
QuotationsWilliam Wordsworth: I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity: the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of reaction, the tranquillity gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was before the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind. (Preface to Lyrical Ballads)Emily Dickinson: If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way? (L342a, 1870)Percy Shelley: Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar (A Defence of Poetry, 1821)
Poems on PoetryMarianne Moore: PoetryI, too, dislike it.***Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in***it, after all, a place for the genuine.
Contrast this poem with the full version of the same poem: Poetry from Others for 1919: An Anthology of the New Verse, edited by Alfred Kreymborg
Jack Spicer: Thing LanguageThis ocean, humiliating in its disguisesTougher than anything.No one listens to poetry. The oceanDoes not mean to be listened to. A dropOr crash of water. It meansNothing.ItIs bread and butterPepper and salt. The deathThat young men hope for. AimlesslyIt pounds the shore. White and aimless signals. NoOne listens to poetry.
Two Ideas of Poetry
Considering two ideas of poetry: read or listen to the following two poems:William Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloudhttp://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/45521Robert Creeley, I Know a Manhttp://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/42839
Is one of these more recognizable as poetry? What makes each of these things a poem?
Two Serious and Several Ridiculous Poetry Links:Poetry Foundation: Labour Day PoemsBuzzfeed: 48 of the Most Beautiful Lines of PoetryThe Onion: National Poetry Month Raises Awareness of Poetry Prevention & Shadows Meet The Clouds, Gray On Gray, Like Dusty Charcoal On An Ashen Brow, Nation's Poets ReportMonty Python: A Poet in Every HomeSaturday Night Live: Poetry Teacher (featuring Drake)
To Do:Read the assigned poems and comment in the course discussion board.Look for more statements by poets on poetry: how does our own definition differ from these versions.