Spring 2009
Fully Enrolled

HUMS 633
Poetry and Insight

Hughes,Gertrude Reif

01/17/2009 - 02/01/2009
Note: Special Schedule 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Zilkha Gallery 106

"Poems are the precious portents of our powers," said Hartford's great 20th century poet, Wallace Stevens. He meant that human beings in general have the same powers of creativity and intuitive thinking that poets, painters and other artists have, only in the artist these are more developed than in the rest of us. Everybody is creative, at least potentially, and we all use our imaginative, intuitive minds when we read poems or other literary works, even if we are not writers ourselves. Reading poems and literary prose with this in mind reveals our own poetic, creative "powers" to us and lets us explore them.

Each day we will work with selected poems in a literary-critical way and as experience of what Douglas Sloan has called "insight imagination." We will read poetry and prose by British and American Romantics of the 19th and 20th centuries--Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Emerson, Langston Hughes, Wallace Stevens, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Lucille Clifton. Guided by Henri Bortoft (on wholeness), Paul Davies (on metaphysical conversation) and Rudolf Steiner (on concentration and meditative mood), we will read with an eye and ear alert to mystery, wisdom, and inspiration in our texts.

Our contemplative work will consist of exercises in focusing our attention and creative exercises with language. Discussion of the literary works will range freely but will focus on what our readings say and demonstrate about imagination as a source of wisdom.

This course is open to auditors.

There are currently no special instructions.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus

Gertrude Hughes (BA Mount Holyoke College; MAT Wesleyan University; PHD Yale University; MAA Wesleyan University) is Professor of English, Emerita.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
(These editions are recommended and preferred, but others may be substituted):

Gwendolyn Brooks, SELECTED POEMS (Harper Perennial ISBN 0-06-093174-4), Paperback

Walt Whitman, LEAVES OF GRASS, original edition (Penguin ISBN 0-14-142-199-8), Paperback

Ralph Waldo Emerson, SPIRITUAL EMMERSON (Tarcher ISBN 978-1-58542-642-3), Paperback


PLEASE NOTE> A course packet of other texts is available for purchase at Pip Printing. This packet may be ordered online at www.pipmid.com

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