About this course

Taking its cues from poems and writers of verse from Beowulf to Bob Dylan, from Shakespeare to Eminem, this course will give students scope to write verse of their own choice on any subject and in any form. An outline history of English poetry will allow students to experiment through imitating great poets, so adding new notes to their own range.

Alongside work in free verse, the principles of formal verse will be taught, including the fundamentals of metre and rhyme. These are usually picked up with surprising ease, and provide delightful methods of discovering new ways forward in a poem. A central idea will be the way words begin to resemble other words, and so ‘breed’. When Bob Dylan sings ‘Girl by the whirlpool/Lookin’ for a new fool’, he is following the sound-pulse: ‘Girl’ suggests ‘whirl’, ‘pool’ suggests ‘fool’: the lines create themselves.


Subject Areas

Check with your home institution for specific information on fulfillment of major / course requirements.