ENGLISH 340 - Studies in Poetry
Section: 002 Inhabiting Poetry
Term: WN 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

No one seems to believe that we can sleep soundly inside the lines of an Emily Dickinson poem, or that we can list a John Keats poem as a local address. Why, then, have so many readers described “inhabiting” a poem or “dwelling” in poetry? In this course, we will study nineteenth-century poems about places, dwellings, and habitations. We will investigate what is at stake in approaching poems and the reading of poems through metaphors of inhabitation and dwelling. At the start of term we will read selections of literary theory and criticism that offer important examples of imagining poems as places in which to live, or that make living possible. But the majority of the term will be dedicated to understanding how and why poets themselves imagine dwelling within poems, and how we as readers today feel invited to, empowered by, or discouraged from inhabiting these same poems. We will look closely at poetry and poetics that explore themes of inhabitation. We will ask how imaginative acts of inhabitation might link up with daily, material, and sociopolitical questions of inhabitation. And we will also consider examples of select nineteenth-century poems that continue to inhabit our twenty-first century world.

Readings will likely include poems by William Wordsworth, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Yone Noguchi. Assignments will include brief reading responses and reading experiments, a creative project, and two formal papers.

ENGLISH 340 - Studies in Poetry
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Coursepack Location:
Dollar Bill Copying (available week of 1/22)
ISBN: 9780140390643
Selected poems, Author: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ; edited with an introduction by Lawrence Buell., Publisher: Penguin Books 1988
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