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Urban Pastoral: The City Poem [Erich Schweikher]

Intermediate | American poetry has a rich history of articulating the truth of our cities. We might call this tradition urban pastoral, in contrast to English pastoral poetry, which idealizes rural life. By reframing the pastoral in an urban setting, the poem’s relationship with landscape becomes more complicated. In exercises and assignments, we will celebrate aspects of city life and recognize and engage with its complexities. Our poems might be considered encounters, attempts to map the city’s public and private spaces.