Shakespeare and Poetry (R)
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Writing
Department: Writing Program
Course Number: NWRW 3877
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Poetry
  • Literature
  • Civic Engagement
Through close reading of two of Shakespeare's plays and a selection of poems, students explore the use of history to interrogate social and personal changes and aesthetic values. In Henry the Fourth, Part One, Shakespeare uses historical accounts of a 15th-century king to comment on his own late-16th-century world. His world anticipates ours: a nation beset by internal and external conflict and in the midst of immense cultural change. The Tempest, a fantasy of love, poetry, and power politics, may have been inspired by reports of expeditions to the New World. It has inspired novelists, filmmakers, poets, and other artists. The course also includes close readings of poems by Whitman, Dickinson, Anne Carson, Harryette Mullen, David Lehman, Elaine Equi, Frank O'Hara, Wislawa Szymborska, Charles Simic, Blake, Wordsworth, Milton, Yeats, Auden, and others. Shaped by turbulent historical moments, these poems point the way to new directions in personal, public, and literary life. By considering the intersections of history, imagination, and the writer's art, student readers and writers learn how their predecessors' work can help them create the literature of the 21st century.
Course Open to: Degree Students


Open to Undergraduate students.