English 1114: Poetry


Week 8-14: Social Conscience & meaning


LL = Lyric link — = song (linked to YT version)

YT = Youtube video — WS = Worksheet

Texts in bold & black = texts to bring to class in hard-copy form

R = supplied readings (click week titles in dark green caps)

❧ = break between Tuesday and Thursday classes

TEXTS: Lyric Addresses; PDFs - Week 8-10 PDFWeek 11-13 PDF


The Harder They Fall. “Alas, Poor Yorick“ & “Take Physic, Pomp“ (“Yorick” & “Pomp,” Shakespeare - R) — Oxymandias X 2: "Ozymandias 1" & "Ozymandias 2" (Horace Smith & Shelley - R) — WS Achilles - "The Shield of Achilles" ("Shield," W.H. Auden - R)

The Road to Damascus. LL "Saint Pablo" (Kanye West) —  LL "Long Road Out of Eden" ("Eden," The Eagles)


Rough Passages. WS Rough Passages —  LL "Thousands Are Sailing" & LL “Fairy Tales of New York” ("Thousands" & Fairy Tales,” The Pogues) 

Out of Africa. WS Rough Passages"Caliban" (Edward Brathwaite - R) "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" (“Rivers” - R) & "Harlem" (Langston Hughes - R) — YT LL "Mississippi Goddam" (Nina Simone) & LL "Strange Fruit" (lyric Abel Meeropol, song Billie Holiday)

When you get your mid-term back, you may need to consult Marking, which contains a list of marking abbreviations. 


Broken & Risen. WS Hallelujah - Hallelujah X 2 (Leonard Cohen - R) - YT "Katrina/Hallelujah" — WS Lemonade - YT LL "Formation" (Beyoncé)

Natural Collection. LL "I’ve Got Life" (Lauryn Hill; the Nina Simone parts of the song are in R) —  "El Puro No Hay Futuro" / "There’s No Future in Purity" ("Futuro," Jarabe de Palo - R)


Revolt. "And I Will War" (Byron - R) — YT LL "The Fight Song" (Marilyn Manson — also see “Fight Songs” in R) — LL “XXX” (Kendrick Lamar)

Big Picture. “This Compost” (Whitman - R) — “Dover Beach” (Arnold - R) — “Ruba’iyat” (Khayyam/Fitzgerald -R)


The Old Lie. "Unto the Breach" (from Henry V - R) — "Dulce et Decorum Est" "Anthem for Doomed Youth" ("Dulce" & "Anthem," Wilfred Owen - R). What role does patriotism play in "Unto the Breach”? How does Owen argue against using patriotism to glorify war?

Unto the Breach. LL "Us and Them" (Pink Floyd) — LL "Roads to Moscow" (Al Stewart). How does Pink Floyd use oppositions, such as up and down? Is there a pattern? For “Roads to Moscow,” I suggest looking up blitzkrieg, Operation Barbarossa, and the German invasion of Russia in 1941. How does Stewart combine personal narrative with the use of space (European geography) and time (military history)? How does he use shifts in music and instrumentation? What does he mean by “an avenger” and “Holy Russia”? 


Dark Sky. "Dust" & "Dream" (from Hamlet - R)  “What Do I Know?” (Byron - R) — LL"Brain Damage" &  LL "Eclipse" (Pink Floyd)

What Matters. “Comme Un Lego” / “Like Lego” (“Lego,” Alain Bashung - R) — LL "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Queen) — ♫ "Una Breve Vacanza" / "A Short Vacation" ("Vacanza," Nina Zilli - R)


I’ll be in my office on Tuesday December 3, from 5:30 to 8:30 PM.

Take-home Essay #2 (20%) 

Write a maximum 700-word essay (plus scratch outline) on one or two texts from Weeks 8-13. You can focus on one of the six categories or on any aspect you want (as long as you’re dealing specifically with the text). If you write on two texts, you must do a comparative analysis.

Follow the format instructions for the Week 4 take-home essay.

You may hand in your final essay during the final class, anytime before the exam (in the LLPA Assignment Drop-Box — in the hall, outside S 2600), or at the final exam. I cannot accept essays after the final exam.

Final Exam (30%, 160 minutes). The format is the same as for the mid-term.

You can NOT write on the text/s you used for your second take-home essay. For Ozymandias X 2 and Hallelujah X 2 you can write on one or both versions of the text

Essay # 1

1.  "Thousands" - "Caliban" - "Rivers" - "Harlem" - "Strange Fruit" ❧❧❧ “Fairy Tales” - YT "Formation" - "I've Got Life" - YT "Mississippi Goddam" - "Futuro"

2.  "And I Will War" - "Roads to Moscow" - "Unto the Breach" ❧❧❧ "Dulce" - "Anthem" - "Us and Them" - "Fight Song" - “XXX”

3.  "Dust" - "Dream" - "Brain Damage" - "Eclipse" ❧❧❧ “What Do I Know?” - “Lego” - "Bohemian Rhapsody" - "Vacanza"  

Essay # 2

4.  “Yorick” - “Pomp” - Ozymandias X 2 ❧❧❧ "Saint Pablo" - "Eden" - YT "Katrina/Hallelujah" - Hallelujah X 2

5.  "Shield" - “Dover Beach” ❧❧❧ “This Compost” - “Ruba’iyat”  


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Introduction - Contents - Outline

SCHEDULE: Week 1-7 - Week 8-14

Readings PDF: 2-4 - 5-6 - 8-10 - 11-13