Calendar

Note that the following schedule may be subject to change throughout the semester. Readings marked with an asterisk (*) are available in the course pack. All other poems are in the Norton Anthology of Poetry.

 

Week One: Course introduction—what is difficulty?
8/26: No readings

 

UNIT ONE | FANCY FOOTWORK: DIFFICULTY AND FORM

Week Two: Meter and Rhyme
8/31: Fry, The Ode Less Travelled chapters 2.1 and 2.2 (Exercises optional) (25pp)
9/2: Fry, The Ode Less Travelled chapters 1.1 and 1.2 (Exercises optional) (50pp)
Please bring your laptop to class.
ADD DROP ENDS
Week Three: Some Classic Forms
9/7: LABOR DAY; NO CLASS
9/9: Fry, The Ode Less Travelled chapters 3.1, 3.6, 3.9, and 3.10 (Exercises optional) (40pp)
Shakespeare, Sonnets 1, 15, 18, 29, 116, 130, 138, 146
Select your presentation date and poetry collection.
Please bring your laptop to class.
Week Four: Adventures in Form
9/14: Langston Hughes, “Jazz as Communication”*, “The Weary Blues,” “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “Song for a Dark Girl”
Richard Wright, from Haiku: This Other World
Kevin Young, Odes*
WEEKLY BLOGGING BEGINS
9/16: Agha Shahid Ali, “The Ghazal in America: May I?”*
Selections from Ravishing DisUnities*
PRESENTATIONS BEGIN

 

UNIT TWO | VOICES FROM ELSEWHERE: DIFFICULTY AND CONTEXT

Week Five: The Past is a Foreign Country, or, Is this English?
9/21: Edmund Spenser, “Epithalamion”
Christopher Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”
9/23: Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophil and Stella 1, 21, 31, 48, 49, 52, 63, 71, 90
Week Six: Romanticism, or, Reading a Movement
9/28: William Wordsworth, “Expostulation and Reply,” “The Tables Turned,” “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Frost at Midnight,” “Dejection: An Ode”
9/30: John Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale,” “Ode on Melancholy,” “Ode on a Grecian Urn”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind”
TRANSLATION ASSIGNMENT DUE
Week Seven: Elegy and Other Occasions
10/5: John Milton, “Lycidas”
Alfred Tennyson, selections from In Memoriam A.H.H.
W.H. Auden, “In Memory of W.B. Yeats”
10/7: Frank O’Hara, “The Day Lady Died,” “Poem” (“Lana Turner has collapsed!”)* “John Button Birthday”*
James Schuyler, “A Stone Knife,”* “Buried at Springs,”* “To Frank O’Hara”*

 

UNIT THREE | NERDING OUT: DIFFICULTY AND ALLUSION

Week Eight: “The Waste Land,” or, Wait, There are Footnotes?
10/12: FALL BREAK; NO CLASS
10/14: T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”
Week Nine: The Bridge, or, In Favor of One’s Time
10/19: Hart Crane’s The Bridge, Annotated Edition, “To Brooklyn Bridge,” Sections I and III*
10/21: Hart Crane’s The Bridge, Annotated Edition, Sections VII and VIII*

 

INTERLUDE: TO THE ARCHIVES!

Week Ten: Exploring the Rose Library
10/26: VISIT TO THE ROSE LIBRARY (Woodruff Library, 10th floor)
10/28: Archives Debrief
ANNOTATION ASSIGNMENT DUE

 

UNIT FOUR | STRANGE TONGUES: DIFFICULTY AND THE OBLIQUE

Week Eleven: Ellipsis and Elision
11/2: Emily Dickinson, Lyrics 314, 320, 340, 372, 409, 479, 764
Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man,” “The Emperor of Ice Cream,” “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”
11/4: William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheel Barrow,” “This is Just to Say”
Kenneth Koch, “Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams”
Gertrude Stein, selections from Stanzas in Meditation
Week Twelve: On Hermeticism, or, Private Visions, Public Voices
11/9: W.B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”
H.D., “Helen,” “An incident here and there” from The Walls Do Not Fall
11/11: Barbara Guest, Selections*
Robert Duncan, Selections*
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13: CLOSE READING ASSIGNMENT DUE VIA EMAIL VIA EMAIL

 

UNIT FIVE | TOO EASY: MAKING IT DIFFICULT

Week Thirteen: What’s Your Address?
11/16: Barbara Johnson, “Apostrophe, Animation, Abortion” and related poems*
11/18: Walt Whitman, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”
Allen Ginsberg, “A Supermarket in California”
John Berryman, “Dream Songs” 1, 14, 29
Sylvia Plath, “Daddy,” “Lady Lazarus”
Week Fourteen: NO CLASS: ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS (11/23, 11/25)

Sign up for your one-on-one meeting here.

Week Fifteen: Everyday Difficulty
11/30: Elizabeth Bishop, “The Fish,” “In the Waiting Room”
Seamus Heaney, “Digging,” “The Skunk”
12/2: Louise Glück, “The Garden,” “Vita Nova”
Rita Dove, “Parsley,” “Dusting”
Carol Ann Duffy, “Warming Her Pearls”
Week Sixteen: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
12/7: Farewell Poetry Reading
FINAL PAPERS DUE