Seminar Great poets speak their mind in poetry, offering us strange and memorable interpretations of themselves and the world around them. Some great poets have also left us another record of how they see things, in letters to family, friends, and other poets. In some cases the letters are as magnificent as the poetry, or nearly so; in many cases the letters show us the poet and his or her world in a way that lends tremendous insight into the poetry. Letters by some poets stand out as riveting works of art on their own. In this course we will read John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, Sylvia Plath, W. H. Auden, Lorine Niedecker, James Schuyler (letters to Frank O’Hara) and others. Attending to both their poetry and their letters we will see the dramatic and thrilling ways that art condenses life, and the way that letters reveal and complicate the life behind the art.