The Art of Poetry

The Art of Poetry is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) taught by Robert Pinsky through Boston University and EdX. When the course launched in 2014, more than 12,000 participants signed up.

The course takes students on a journey through the syllables, lines, and musicality of poetry, with readings from historical and contemporary work. Rather than focusing on specific time periods or trends, sessions explore elements of the art such as poetry’s historical relation to courtship, techniques of sound in free verse, and the nature of greatness. The archived version of the course can be viewed on EdX.

Videos for All Audiences

The Art of Poetry Video Repository is a portal to high-quality videos of course mini-lectures and discussions. The videos are designed for a broad audience, including not only teachers students but anyone interested in the art of poetry. Searchable by topic, poet, and poem, these videos offer a dynamic look at how individuals experience and relate to poetry.

The lecture segments, usually five minutes or less, cover themes such as Music and Poetry; Teasing, Flirting, and Courting; Kidding and Tribute; and Difficulty and Pleasure. In the equally brief discussion segments, participants explore course themes with Robert Pinsky moderating and commenting. The people participating in the discussions include non-students from a range of backgrounds, as well as high school, college, and graduate students.

Course Introduction

In this short video, Robert Pinsky offers an introduction to the Art of Poetry.