Stanford University
ENGLISH 155: The Journey: Pound, Bishop, Walcott
Winter 2006

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Poetry’s basic axis is metaphor, a trope which, whenever it is used, enacts a kind of journey: a crossing from the known into the unknown and a return back. This is one reason why some of the foundational epic poems of the ancient world — such as Gilgamesh and The Odyssey — are structured as journeys, and why the journey has remained an intensely poetic theme right up to the present.

After some background reading in earlier poetic accounts of journeys, this course studies in detail the work of three modern poets, Ezra Pound, Elizabeth Bishop and Derek Walcott, for whom the journey, both as a subject and as a structuring formal principle, has been especially important.

Our aim will not be to discover some spurious archetype of the journey underlying these poets' work, but simply think about what their diverse representations of journeying say -- about them and about us.

Meeting Time & Place
T & Th 3.15-5.05 - Building 320, Room 221

Instructors Office Hours & Location
Nicholas Jenkins T 9.30-10.30, W 9-11, Building 460, Room 213

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