CC 300 EX - Lyric Passport: Contemporary World Poetry
3 Credits
TR 8:30-9:45 am - Professor Clark 
Cross-listed with ENGL 390 BX
Fulfills humanities requirement - literature 
Fulfills diversity requirement 

Czeslaw Milosz wrote that “The purpose of poetry is to remind us / how hard it is to remain a single person, / for our house is open, there are no keys in the door, / and invisible guests come in and out at will.” What he meant was, in part, that when we read poetry we allow our imagination to be accessed by a stranger. But we might also say a lyric poem, which holds time in abeyance to dramatize an experience in language, allow us to dip into an artist’s mind and read the world from her perspective. This course offers students the opportunity to engage in the comparative study of poets and poetics from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. We will consider how poets from various cultures respond to similar problems in language, how an individual poet speaks beyond their circumstance and language to humanity at large, how poets writing in different tongues engage in conversation with each other’s work, and ultimately how poetic language is crafted to carry a freight of emotion across time and space. We will also ask questions about the function of the lyric. What explains its longevity as a genre and its continued power for contemporary readers?