GERM-362 On the Pleasures and Politics of Poems
Fall for 2014-2015
Poetry, or so it is sometimes claimed, is the expression of the individual subject, an internal and private language. In this course we will consider how poetry might just as well be read as an external and public language – that is, we will consider how poetry gives voice to desires and dreams that refer, or at least, point to history. We will explore the complex relationship of poems, language, events and social relations. Throughout the semester we will ask how style and form – such as alliteration, parallelism, rhyme, meter, foregrounding – mediate and influence these relationships. We will focus on in-depth readings of poems from the late eighteenth and early twentieth-centuries. While the work of Friedrich Hölderlin and Rainer Maria Rilke will ground our study, we will also read related poems from Goethe, Schiller, Novalis, Stefan George, Georg Trakl, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Else Lasker-Schuler.
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