A Sampler of New England Poets and Their Poetry

Course Leader(s)
Day of Week: Thursday
Course Length: 5 weeks
Starting: 11/02/2023
Ending: 12/07/2023
Period of Day: Period 3 Zoom
Time: 2:15 - 3:45
Course Fee: $50

Course Description:

Famous pastoral poet Robert Frost, who used landscape as a metaphor for meaning in his works, was a complete failure as a real farmer. Emily Dickinson was a recluse who never left her own bedroom in her latter years. This course is an examination of the lives and works of several New England poets. Through lecture and discussion, we will provide tools for the mastery of interpreting the nature of poetry. Each class will include biographic details on the poet and an examination/discussion of several of their works. The five poets are Robert Frost (including “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”), Emily Dickinson (including “Because I could not stop for death”), Phillis Wheatley (including “On Being Brought from Africa to America”), Edna St. Vincent Millay (including “Afternoon on a Hill” and “Tavern”), and Edward Estlin Cummings (including “In just spring”). We shall discuss circa five poems per session.  Most of the selections will be different from those discussed in the previous New England Poets course. Please note that this course will meet from November 2 to December 7, which includes the make-up week. Weekly preparation time is approximately 1.5 hours.

Books and Other Resources:

Any copy of the poems’ full text is fine; there are no required versions to be purchased, and the poems may be available on the internet. Many of the poems we shall examine also have critical evaluations/discourse included with the text. Most libraries have copies of these poets’ works available. Additional information is readily available on the internet via Google and Youtube, or by consulting Alexa.

Course Leader Bio(s)

Fred Kolb

I am a retired professor of humanities and have taught graduate and undergraduate courses in American, World, and Comparative Literatures. My undergraduate majors were English and German language and literature, with minors in Philosophy and History. My graduate studies include English and American Literature, 19th Century and Contemporary German Literature, American Studies, and German Americana.  Poetry is filled with wonder and joy for me; I hope with this course to make it more accessible to others.