Course Descriptions

ENG 3310

Elements of Prosody

Mischa Willett

MW 2:30–3:50 p.m.

These are the bones of what we believe about poetry. You know how some poems give people chills? How do they do that? Why do certain songs, even songs without words, make people cry? The fact is that we’re built—hardwired—with certain emotional connections to rhythm: we feel frightened, or on edge, or excited not always because of what’s being said but because of the tune beneath it and how that maps onto the human heartbeat or the length of a breath. An aspiring writer, or an astute reader, might want to know how to do tricks like that. Be prepared for lots of messing around in the workshop of words.

Writing on the window of an English classroom

How to Read a Poem

English Professor Susan Van Zanten gives you a quick guide on how to get the most out of reading poetry.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Jane Austen
Pride & Prejudice