The Healing Power of Poetry
In the days following 9/11, the only section of Barnes and Noble that had any traffic was the poetry section. In times of personal and communal tragedy, people turn to poetry, tapping into its healing power. This seminar will explore how a poem that begins as an individual experience morphs into an exercise in language that, at its best, expresses a collective grief altogether separate from the personal anguish with which the poet may have begun. Much of the course will be the study of poems, but our content will necessarily lead us to explore some of the darkest periods in human history. Because this is a research seminar, you will be researching these periods in human history and discussing them in relation to the poetry that was created during and around them. This seminar, designed to unearth poetry and show its relevance to human experience, will also give us the opportunity to craft a poem of our own. No prior knowledge of poetry or experience writing poetry is necessary; all prior knowledge and experience is welcome.