share this

Early action application deadline: January 15
Get Started here.
Share This Search

Academics . Liberal Arts . Courses

Liberal Arts Courses

Nature Poetry Before + After Darwin

Course No. LLC 301X  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Timothy Geaghan

In a notebook entry dated in the 1940s, Robert Frost wrote, “You have to be careful with the word natural—with all words in fact. You have to play the words close to the realities.” So what are the “realities” of the natural world? Given that human beings are, after Darwin, connected to all living things, can we ever get far enough outside of ourselves to understand the “real,” concrete world of nature? Or are we human beings simply creating, through language, a symbolic world and calling it nature? Is the act of constructing a world using language in order to understand ourselves and other things what makes us natural—is at the root of what we call “human nature”? In exploring those questions, this seminar will look at poetry before and after Darwin in an attempt to understand what effects natural science has had on poetic depictions of the natural world from the 1830s to the 1930s. The focus of the course will tilt toward poetic renderings of the natural world after Darwin, and in particular the most well-known American “nature poet” of the 20th century, Robert Frost. Frost grappled with many scientific ideas, both in and out of his poetry, and turned around the question of how science has affected poetry to ask, how does poetry help us understand science? May be applied as a Humanities/Cultural Studies elective or as a writing-intensive elective.

Meet Your Faculty view all

Olatubosun Ogunsanwo

Olatubosun Ogunsanwo

Professor of Comparative Literature

The University of Lagos, Nigeria, 1974 - 1990, Senior Lecturer The Ohio State University, College of Humaniti...more

Cores + Connections

Our connections are your connections.

While at CIA, you'll learn from the masters through our rigorous, world-class curriculum and connect with working professionals to begin your career.

Read More

Support CIA

Show the world creativity matters: make a gift to the annual fund.

Read More

The Art of Exchange

The Art of Exchange: Contemporary Cuban Art in Cleveland opens on November 2.

Read More

Cores + Connections

Creating. Connecting. Building better futures.