Reading Poetry: Where Do Poems Take Us?


Course Description

Seamus Heaney says that one of his own constant themes is that poetry must be an answer to a question and that "the poet must give the answer in the specific language of poetry, rather than in the language of the world that provoked the question." In this course, we will experience the pleasure and surprise of poetry by reading poems aloud and searching together for the poets' questions. We will also ask our own questions, such as why does poetry, more than any other medium, provoke delight and contempt in equal measure? How does poetry succeed in expressing the desire to transcend the finite and the historical? What impulse moves poets to engage in the impossible task of expressing the inexpressible?

Each week we will focus on one of the following poets: William Blake, W.B. Yeats, Emily Dickinson, W.H. Auden, Dennis Brutus, Mary Oliver, Seamus Heaney, and Tony Hoagland.

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 18 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Monday 18 January 2021

Course Length: 10 weeks, Mondays, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Discussion Team: Imogen Brian, Jackie Harvey, Barbara Rolston

Degree Credit: Half credit

Course Fees: 

$140.00 (standard tuition)

$95.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$175.00 (standard tuition)

$130.00 (promotion for new students)


Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Degree students, course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers should not register online. 

Degree students must schedule an appointment with the Admissions and Accreditation Committee to register for courses at

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers from cancelled Spring 2020 courses, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

If you are a RETURNING student

If you are NEW to TMI