Spring 2021 Undergraduate English Courses

358:363 Poetry and Daily Life

03  09282   GROGAN  MW  1:40-3:00 PM

What is daily life—and its siblings, the ordinary and the everyday? This course looks at how poets have attempted to capture, document, or reveal the texture of everyday existence, from the boring and mundane to the surprising and sublime. What happens when poetry, as a kind of exceptional and singular language, turns its sights to the ordinary? What sorts of experiences and observations are made possible? Topics may include: familiarity and strangeness, boredom, repetition, lyric time, observation and identification, urban life, alienation, and late capitalism. Poets may include T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Hope Mirrlees, Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Bernadette Mayer, James Schuyler, Harryette Mullen, Jorie Graham, Natalie Diaz, and others. We will read poems alongside extracts from theorists such as Walter Benjamin, Silvia Federici, Henri Lefebvre, Sigmund Freud, and Stanley Cavell. Assessment will include class participation, short creative experiments in writing the everyday, and a major final project.