What Is Poetry?
When: Six Wednesdays from 18 September to23 October
1.30pm till 3.30pm
Where: large meeting room, Fitzroy Public Library
The kinds of prose writing that most of us are used to reading—from journalism to novels, travel writing and cookbooks, texts and tweets—are a very recent development in the history of how human beings have learned to use language. Poetry is a far older more universal phenomenon that dates back to the earliest human cultures. For millennia it has been both a demanding craft and a source of potentially endless enlightenment and delight. In this course we will read and discuss a wide range of English-language poems, from medieval to modern, to see what we can discover about the nature of poetry itself–how it works, what it can achieve, and the many ways in which it can offer us both recreation and wisdom.
I will provide a course reader containing the poetry we will discuss in this course.