Offered on edX.org between September 2014 and October 2016, Art of Poetry, taught by former U.S. Poet Laureate and jazz enthusiast Robert Pinsky, took learners on a journey through the syllables, lines, and musicality of poetry. The readings included historical poems, as well as contemporary work. The focus was on elements of the art such as poetry’s historical relation to courtship; techniques of sound in free verse; poetry’s relation to music; the nature of greatness—with only incidental attention to schools of poetry, categories and trends.
The Art of Poetry
Course Introduction Video
Robert Pinsky is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Boston University. He is the author of nineteen books, his most recent including his Selected Poems and the anthology Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters. Pinsky’s translation of The Inferno of Dante Alighieri received the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry. His volume of poetry The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 was a Pulitzer Prize nominee and received the Lenore Marshall Award. As Poet Laureate of the United States (1997-2000), Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project, in which thousands of Americans—of varying backgrounds, all ages, and from every state—shared their favorite poems. He is the only member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on both The Simpsons and The Colbert Report. Pinsky discusses some of his favorite poems on a monthly basis with readers at his Poetry Forum.
Professor Pinky worked with Duy Doan, Tara Skurtu, Laura Marris, Elizabeth Houston, Anna Ziering, and Corinne Keer to complete this course.
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