Classical Influences in Modern British and Irish Poetry

Ref: C3847033

In her introduction to Classical Presences in Irish Poetry, Florence Impens mentions how 'the classics have helped poets renegotiate literary identities outside the British/Irish binary'. On this course we will read and explore the work of a number of British and Irish poets to determine how they situate classical influences in their poetry. With this frame we will discuss each poet and their work to think about the classics as part of an ongoing historical-literary process where this influence continues to be felt and manifest in distinctive ways. We will examine their poems through style, aesthetics, ideas and subject matter, and form, whilst also considering each poet's background and biography, their critical reception as well as parallel historical, cultural and political contexts. Some poets who may figure include Fiona Benson, Eavan Boland, Douglas Dunn, Lavinia Greenlaw, Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Alice Oswald, Sylvia Plath and Derek Walcott.

Course aim

This course will introduce and explore the influence of classical literature upon C20th British and Irish poetry by looking at a number of poets from the beginning of the C20th through to the present day as well as selections from their work.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Show a developed appreciation for the works of a range of British and Irish poets from the C20th onwards, particularly through how they use classical material
  • Offer ideas and appraisals of different kinds of poetic and literary works by engaging with and responding to both primary and secondary texts
  • Display improved interpretive and analytical skills in the reading and study of literature particularly regarding how influence situates itself
  • Show familiarity with a range of critical approaches to modern British and Irish poetry
  • Form and express my own opinions on specific aspects of texts within modern British and Irish poetry using appropriate critical and literary vocabulary

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

This course will be taught online using a combination of Zoom and the WEA's online digital learning platform Canvas, both of which you will need to be able to access through the internet and email. A selection of learning resources will be provided including reading and materials for each session.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Classical Influences in Modern British and Irish Poetry

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is only available as part of this programme.

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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