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Course Extracts for EN 973 (you will need to sign in)

(Additional readings will be suggested, but below is the essential material)

Week 1: Introductory

Bernstein, Charles, 'The Practice of Poetics' in his Attack of the Difficult Poems (2011)

Armantrout, Rae, 'Seven Poems' Beard of the Bees

Culler, Jonathan ‘Why Lyric?’ PMLA, 123.1 (2008)

Heller, Michael, 'The Uncertainty of the Poet,' in his Uncertain Poetries (2012)


Week 2: Romantic Poetics

Wordsworth, William Preface to The Lyrical Ballads (1802)

Wordsworth, William, 'The Thorn' 1798 [for the amended text, see The Thorn]

Sutherland, Keston, 'Wrong Poetry', Textual Practice, 24.4 (2010) [a study of what is defiantly 'wrong' with 'The Thorn']

Shelley, P B A Defence of Poetry [Internet]

Shelley, P B Ode to the West Wind [Internet]

Week 3: Victorian Poetics

Arnold, Matthew, 'Dover Beach'

Arnold, Matthew 'The Study of Poetry' (1880)

Browning, E B '"Aurora Leigh", Fifth Book' in Classic Writings on Poetry, ed W Harmon(2003 ) [Course extracts]

Rossetti, Christina, 'Rest'

Pater, Walter 'Preface & Conclusion' to his The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry (1875)

Hopkins, Gerard Manley 'God's Grandeur'

Hopkins, Gerard Manley 'Notes and Letters on Poetry and Verse' in A Hopkins Reader, ed. John Pick (1953) [Course extracts]


Week 4: Modernist Poetics

Moore, Marianne, 'Black Earth'

Stevens, Wallace, 'The Snow Man'

Zukofsky, Louis, 'Sincerity and Objectification' , Poetry Review, (February 1931)

Oppen, George, 'The Mind's own Place' (1963)

Williams, William Carlos, 'The Poem as a Field of Action,' (1948)


Week 5: Late Modernist and Postmodern Poetics

Olson, Charles, Maximus to Gloucester, Letter 27

Olson, Charles , 'Projective Verse' or in Poetry in Theory, ed Jon Cook (2004)

Bernstein, Charles, extract from 'The Artifice of Absorption,' in his A Poetics (1992) [Course extracts]

Heller, Michael, ‘Avant-garde propellants of the Machine Made with Words’ in his Uncertain Poetics (2012) [Course extract]

Hejinian, Lyn, 'The Rejection of Closure,' (1985)

Hejinian, Lyn, from My Life


Week 6: Poetry and/as Sound

Jarvis, Simon, ‘Why Rhyme Pleases’ Thinking Verse 1 (2011), 17-43 [Internet]

Paterson, Don, ‘The Lyric Principle: Part 1: The Sense of Sound’ Poetry Review [Internet: Author's website]

Adorno, Theodor, 'Music, Language and Composition' in his Essays on Music (2002) [Course extracts]

Eliot, T S, ‘The Music of Poetry’ in his On Poetry and Poets (1957) [Course extracts]

Poe, Edgar Allen, 'The Rationale of Verse' in The Poetic Principle [Internet]


Week 7: Poetry and/as Thought

Jarvis, Simon, “Thinking in verse” in The Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry, ed. James Chandler and Maureen McLane (2008)

Badiou, Alain, ‘Language, Thought, Poetry’ in his Theoretical Writings (2004)

Heidegger, Martin, ‘Poetically Man Dwells’ in his Poetry, Language, Thought (2001) [Course extracts]

Blasing, M K 'Making Choice of a Human Self,' and 'The Lyric Subject' in Lyric Poetry (2007)


Week 8: Lineation or Non-Lineation: Prose Poetry and Free Verse

Brown, Andy, ‘The Emergent Prose Poem’ in Companion to Poetic Genre, ed Erik. Martiny (2012)

Eliot, T S, 'Reflections on Vers Libre', in his To Criticize the Critic (1978), 183-89

Delville, M ‘Introduction’ in his The American Prose Poem (1998) [Course extracts]

Hill, Geoffrey, excerpts from Mercian Hymns (1985) [Course extracts]

Ashbery, John ‘The New Spirit’ in his Collected Poems, 1956-1987 (2008) [Course extracts]


Week 9: Ecopoetries

Kinsella, John 'Can there be a Radical Western Pastoral?' in his Disclosed Poetics (2007) [Course extracts]

Ijima, Brenda (ed), The Ecocritical Language Reader (see essays by Jonathan Skinner and Peter Larkin)

Tarlo, Harriet,’Introduction', in The Ground Aslant: an Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry, ed. Harriet Tarlo (2011) [Course extracts]

Watts, Carol, 'Zeta Landscapes,' in The Ground Aslant: an Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry, ed. Harriet Tarlo (2011)

Dickinson, Mark, 'from "Littoral"' and 'Four Poems from "The Speed of Clouds", in The Ground Aslant: an Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry, ed. Harriet Tarlo (2011)

Larkin, Peter, ‘Innovation Contra Acceleration’ Boundary 2 26.1 (1999), 169-74


Week 10: Poetry and Ethics, Politics, Spirituality

Adorno, Theodor, ‘On Lyric Poetry and Society’ in his Notes to Literature, 1 (1991) [Course extracts]

Milbank, John 'The Eight Diagonals' in his The Legend of Death [Course extracts]

Brady, Andrea, 'Precinct', Chicago Review (Spring, 2007); See also her YouTube reading.

Graham, Jorie, 'Praying (Attempt of Feb 6 '04)' in her Overlord (2005): 65-68 [Course extracts]

Hejinian, Lyn, 'The Sad Note in a Poetics of Consciousness,' in Poetry and Public Language, ed. Tony Lopez (2007) [Course extracts]

Izenberg, Oren, 'Poems, Poetry, Personhood,' in his Being Numerous (2011) [Course extracts] (for a brief summary and discussion of Izenberg's position see Being Numerous /