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C O U R S E 
The Art of Poetry
Robert Pinsky, Boston University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Interplanetary Languages
Notes taken on April 29, 2017 by Edward Tanguay
poetry is metrical engineering
American poetry since the beginning of the 20th century
has concentrated on trying to use colloquial language
words in their accustomed order
that is a one of the roads into poetry
start with things that are much like yourself
Alan Ginsberg (1926-1997)
best known for his poem "Howl"
denounced the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States
T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
American-born British essayist
moved to England in 1914 at age 25
settled, worked and married
poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915)
masterpiece of the Modernist movement
one can start in the 16th century
the subject matter has a directness
Fulke Grevel (1554-1628)
Elizabethan poet, dramatist, and statesman
administrator who served the English Crown under Elizabeth I and James I
best known today
as the biographer of Sir Philip Sidney
for his sober poetry, which presents dark, thoughtful and distinctly Calvinist views on art, literature, beauty and other philosophical matters
George Gascoigne (1535-1577)
most important English poet of the early Elizabethan era, following Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard
most noted works include "A Discourse of the Adventures of Master FJ" (1573), an account of courtly intrigue and one of the earliest English prose fictions
Finnegans Wake
it is often just too much to take
but the more literature and poetry you read, the more you are able to pick it up and read it like a book of poems
for me the dividing line is: is it viscerally pleasant for me to engage with it
I find if I am find literature attractive or enjoyable at a gut level, I can put up with any degree of confusion or bewilderment that it offers
it's like being in a foreign country
if you find the way people are gossiping or arguing in Italian or Vietnamese interesting, if you enjoy watching people in the market, guessing if they are haggling or are they describing the card came and how it came out yesterday, and you really can't understand much of the language but it still piques your interest and fascinates you for some reason, then you could listen for a long time, even at this extremely high linguistic complexity level, but if it doesn't interest you, then it's a kind of hell, you just want to go back to your hotel room and listen to language that is not so complex
each poet develops their own country, their own language and you have to enter into that
they have their own customs, language and civilization