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Course Description

We will read from the works of three outstanding mid-twentieth-century poets: James Wright (1927-1980), Anne Sexton (1928-1974), and William Matthews (1942-1997). The lives of all three were tragically cut short, by cancer (Wright and Matthews) or by suicide (Sexton). Matthews once said that "one of the primary reasons for being alive is to experience the pleasure of being alive." All three drew heavily from the events of their lives, writing poems that enhance our pleasure (and sometimes our sorrow) in life and the ups and downs of love and marriage, of being a woman (or a man), of watching basketball, listening to jazz, lying in a hammock, or nuzzling horses. Their poems are lucid and easy to read, and always repay repeated readings. The classes will consist of reading poems aloud and talking about them. | Facilitated discussion
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