In this course, we will read ten significant premodern poems by women. We have chosen each poem to give you a sense of its structure as a poem and its importance as a form in its time. This course also reveals the roots each poem has in history, in slavery, in conventional thought and unorthodox opinion. Through the introductions to the poems, forum discussions with your fellow participants, and talks by Professor Boland and practicing poets and scholars, we will learn about how poets have fashioned life experience into verse, how to discuss poetry, and what poetry means for each of us today.
This course is offered for anyone with an interest in poetry--no background or prior education in the subject is required. You are welcome to join the course simply to explore the resources and participate in discussions about the poems. Each week we will explore one poem as it emerged from a poet's life and place in history, and a contemporary poet from Stanford's Creative Writing program will discuss the significance of the week's poem to us today.
For those wishing to earn Statements of Accomplishment, each week you will write a short piece for peer review. Estimated time commitment is 1-3 hours per week.