ENG* 289
"C-" or better in ENG* 101 or ENG* 101S

Poets have always written in passionate response to suffering and inequality, calling attention to the need for change, insisting that we pay attention not only to what is right and beautiful but also to what is wrong and terrible in the world. In this course, we will examine a number of questions, beginning with working toward a clear definition of politics, so that we can understand the complexity of that concept and thus comprehend the effect that politics in the broadest definition has on our lives. The other two questions we will examine are "What is political poetry?" and "What makes a good political poem"—exploring the challenge of writing poetry that tries to make a point without sliding into preaching. We will read the work of poets included in Poetry Like Bread, as well as handouts of poems by other poets, and students will explore the joys and perils of writing their own political poetry, writing a series of poems responding to topics brought up in class discussion. Student poems will be read and discussed in class, and students will produce a final portfolio of poems, rewritten in response to that class discussion. At the end of the semester, students will give a public reading of their work in the Asnuntuck Coffee House, and we will also put together a collection of work written for the course. We will be learning from each other. I welcome suggestions, and I encourage all of you to bring in additional published poems to enhance the assigned reading, so that we can broaden the scope of our exploration. You will need to provide copies for the class of any poems you bring in. This course satisfies the Fine Arts requirement. Not regularly offered.