In what ways is reading poetry a fundamentally different practice from reading prose? What can we discover about a poem by examining its structure and the choices the poet made? In this introductory course we will carefully consider a range of different poems from different historical periods, as well as a number of contemporary works, as we try to ascertain what a poem is, exactly, and develop a vocabulary to discuss poetry and prosody (the patterns of sound and rhythm in a poem). We will read prose about poetry by such poet-critics as Louise Gluck, John Keats, Audre Lorde, Harryette Mullen, Frank O’Hara, Charles Olson, and Mary Ruefle. We will also meet, and engage with, several contemporary poets visiting campus over the course of the term. Written assignments include several short essays about poetry and prosody, as well as response papers to each Poetry @ Bennington visitor’s reading and presentation. Corequisites: It will be mandatory for all enrolled students to attend all four Poetry @ Bennington readings this term, each taking place on a Wednesday at 7pm. Students may not take this course if they are unable to fulfill this course expectations.