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WA Poets Inc presents Poetic Imagery (fully booked)

Wednesday October 13 - Wednesday December 15
18:00 - 19:30

It happens every now and then to most people, I think, when they are reading literary criticism, to be puzzled by the words ‘image’ and ‘imagery’.
P N Furbank

Delivered by WA Poets Inc, this discussion group led by Emeritus Professor Dennis Haskell will examine the use of imagery in poetry from different periods and places. It is aimed at a greater understanding of the workings of images in English language poetry, the way it has changed over time, and the possibilities for the present.

Although the meetings will be relatively informal, the learning is cumulative so participants are required to enroll for the whole course. Participants will be asked to read a selection of nominated poems and are invited to nominate poems of interest to them.

This 10-week course will run on each Wednesday evening (6pm-7.30pm) between the dates of 13 October 2021 – 15 December 2021.

A selection of poems out of copyright will be provided. For poems in copyright please buy, beg or borrow:

The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry, ed. John Kinsella, and

The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry, ed. John Kinsella & Tracy Ryan.

Course Outline

Oct 13 – WEEK 1: Definitions

What do we mean by the term “image” in poetry?

Does it differ from “symbol”, “icon”, “emblem”, “trope” “impression”?

How is it related to simile, metaphor and personification? Does it differ from everyday use and the use in painting?

Oct 20 – Week 2: Imagery in Renaissance Poetry

An examination of the use of images in the following poems:

Anonymous, “There is a Lady Sweet and Kind”; Thomas Wyatt, “My Galley…”; George Peele, “His Golden Locks…”, William Shakespeare, Sonnet 12; John Donne, “The Sun Rising”; Robert Herrick, “To the Virgins…”; George Herbert, “Easter Wings”.

Oct 27 – Week 3: Imagery in Augustan Poetry

An examination of the use of images in the following poems:

Henry Vaughan, “They Are All Gone…”; Anne Finch, “To Deaath”; Jonathan Swift, “A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed”; John Gay, “A Soldier and a Sailor”; Aexander Pope, “The Rape of the Lock”, Canto 1, “Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot”.

Nov 3 – Week 4: Imagery in Romantic Poetry

An examination of the use of images in the following poems:

Thomas Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”; William Blake, “London”; William Wordsworth, “Tintern Abbey”, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”; Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan”, “Frost at Midnight”; Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind”; John Keats, “La Belle Dame sans Merci”, “To Autumn”.

Nov 10 – Week 5: The Imagist and Vorticist Movements

An examination of the use of images in the following poems:

T E Hulme, “Autumn”, “Above the Dock”, “Images”; Ezra Pound, “In a Station of the Metro”, “Ts’ai Chi’h”, “The Garden”; HD, “Sea Violet”; Richard Aldington, ”Images” ; F S Flint, “Cones”; T S Eliot, “Preludes”, William Carlos Williams, “Summer Song”.

Nov 17 – Week 6: Imagery in Twentieth Century Poetry

An examination of the use of images in the following poems:

Thomas Hardy, “The Voice”; W B Yeats, “Byzantium”; Robert Frost, “Design”; Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man”; Dylan Thomas, “The Force that …”; W H Auden, “Musée des Beaux Arts”; Sylvia Plath, “Morning Song”; Philip Larkin, “Love Songs in Age”; Louise Gluck, “The Garden”; Carol Ann Duffy, “Anne Hathaway”.

Nov 24 – Week 7: Imagery in Australian Poetry

An examination of the use of images in the following poems:

Christopher Brennan, “Sweet Silence after Bells”; John Shaw Neilson, “The Crane is My Neighbour”; Dorothea Mackellar, “My Country”; Kenneth Slessor, “Choker’s Lane”; James McAuley, “Pietà”; Judith Wright, “At Cooloolah”; Gwen Harwood, “Home of Mercy”; Les Murray, “The Widower in the Country”; Robert Gray, “Kangaroo”.

Dec 1 – Week 8: Imagery in West Australian Poetry

An examination of the use of images in the following poems:

Elizabeth Deborah Brockman, “On Receiving from England…”; Randolph Stow, “The Land’s Meaning”; Jack Davis, “Rottnest”; Ee Tiang Hong, “Perth”; Annamaria Weldon, “My Mother’s Second Skin”; Julie Watts, “Dark Bird”; Josephine Clarke, “Cutting Up Seed Potatoes…”; Veronica Lake, “Exotic Flowers”.

Dec 8 – Week 9: Imagery in your own poetry

Participants are asked to bring one of their own poems and reflect on its use of imagery. Although it is not the main purpose, this may be an opportunity for some workshopping.

Dec 15 – Week 10: Conclusion: Overview and tentative conclusions.

Please note we do not offer ticket refunds. This course is intended for participants to attend the full 10-week course.

This course is delivered by WA Poets Inc.


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Dennis Haskell

Dennis Haskell is an Australian critic, poet and academic. His key areas of research are Australian Literature, Poetry from the Medieval period to the present, Creative Writing, South-east Asian Writing in English, Literary Modernism (1890-1939), Modernism and after, and Post-colonial.

Centre for Stories
100 Aberdeen Street Northbridge
WA, 6003

Public Transport
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Parking is available at the CPP Aberdeen Street car park (25 metre walk) or at Wilsons car park on Zempilas St (10 metres).

Wheelchair access is provided. Centre for Stories aims to be an inclusive and supportive community venue, please contact us if you have any questions.

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