What is the course about?
From Shakespeare’s time to our own, priest-poets have given particularly forceful and poignant expression to both the rewards and the difficulties of faith. This innovative course will illuminate both their visions and their tribulations.
What will we cover?
Beginning with the so-called Metaphysicals, we shall consider the very varied testimonies of John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan and Thomas Traherne. Subsequently we shall study the ways in which the poetry of the likes of George Crabbe, G.M. Hopkins and R.S.Thomas gives voice both to the comforts and the complexities of their vocation and their beliefs.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Demonstrate understanding of the scope and variety of poetry written by ordained priests.
Identify how the poets’ vocations and circumstances affected – and expressed themselves through – their work.
Appreciate the continuing relevance and importance of this poetry to today’s world.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No particular prior knowledge will be assumed, but you will need to feel enthusiastic about the prospect of reading and discussing this poetry and its relationship to religious faith. You will interested in listening to – and learning from – the responses of other students to the work discussed.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teacher explanation; group discussion.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No. You will be provided with photocopies of the poems to be studied. Bring a pen and paper.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details