2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Prolegomena To A Future Poetics

NEW! Last Updated: 04/16/2008

Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Leonard Schwartz poetics

Major areas of study include poetics, literature, philosophy and creative writing.

Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 50% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

This two-quarter program offers several perspectives on the art of poetry. The winter quarter features a series of intensive readings in ancient and classical poetry, and the compositional efforts of modern and contemporary avant-garde writers to reinvent or renew those works. The central questions of the quarter are: What is the relationship in poetry between original and translation? How are ancient works renewed or reinvented? Thus we will study, among other examples, the classical Chinese poet Li Po in relationship to Ezra Pound's transformation of that poetry in his 20th-century work Cathay; Homer's Iliad and its contemporary realization as Christopher Logue's War Music; various contemporary translations of Cantos from Dante's Inferno; and the American poet H.D's invention of Egypt in Trilogy. Students will work intensively on their own writing practices, both creative and critical.

The spring quarter will continue the poetry writing workshop, but shift in focus to the relationship between philosophical texts and those dimensions of poetry that philosophy can bring to the fore. This quarter the central focus will be on the relationship between image and idea and how, in language, one transforms into the other, with an eye (and a mind) towards exploring new territories of poetic composition. This will be accomplished by paired texts, in which the work of an individual poet is read in juxtaposition to a theoretical text. These pairings will include the critical theorist Theodor Adorno and the German language poet Paul Celan, the feminist philosopher Helene Cixous and the American poet Alice Notley, the philosopher Hannah Arendt and New American poet Robin Blaser, and the novelist Marguerite Duras and Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. During each quarter, the program also involves an ongoing poetry writing workshop.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 23

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in education, writing and translation.

Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen, Culture, Text and Language

Program Revisions

Date Revision
April 16th, 2008 This is a new program for winter and spring 2009, not printed in the catalog.