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ENGL219 Poetry and Music

A study of the relationship between poetry and music, including poetry as song, folk traditions, and performance.

When we listen to pop music or hip hop, we don't normally think of it as poetry. But in fact, the distinction between poetry and music is not as clear as we might imagine. This paper examines a range of intersections between poetry and music, from the common origins of poetry and song lyrics in the traditions of oral cultures to the lyrics of Patti Smith, David Bowie, Radiohead, hip hop artists and the Dunedin Sound of The Verlaines. Throughout the paper, we investigate how poetry and lyrics achieve musical effects through language and explore the relationship between sound and sense. We also address the changing relationship between poetry and song lyrics, looking at their mutual influence and the performative aspects of both genres.

Paper title Poetry and Music
Paper code ENGL219
Subject English
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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One 100-level ENGL or MUSI paper (excluding ENGL 126) or 36 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

To be confirmed when paper is next offered.


Poetry and Music Course Anthology (available from the Print Shop).

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

To be advised when paper is next offered.

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system