Powerful Words! Popular Poems!

Collecting words into a line of verse can be a spoken delight. Voicing our own thoughts can be rewarding, so can the voicing of the words of others. This course will let us voice the words of selected Australian, British and American poets of the last 150 years. Poets such as Les Murray, David Malouf, Rosemary Dobson, W H Auden, W B Yeats, Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Included will be pieces from the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Judith Wright and Kath Walker exploring links with modern songwriters and authors. The ‘spoken word’ and the art of reading aloud will be discussed as a means of understanding the poets’ craft.

Independent Study Discussion Courses are for study by groups without a tutor, so there is no need to write reports. These courses were written by tutors who have now since retired from the Discussion Group Program. Some courses were written a number of years ago, and therefore contain references to events which are now more historical than current, however, all are entertaining, well-produced and worthwhile.


Course Author: Irene Inkson

Course Code: D116

Supplied Material: Course Booklet

  • J Leonard (Ed.), Seven Centuries of Poetry in English

Units & Pricing: 6 units / $54 per person


Start your Group: Anyone can start a Discussion Group – seek out some like-minded friends or put up a notice in your local library, bookshop or workplace. Please note a minimum of 6 people is required to start a new discussion group.

Arrange the Meetings: New groups need to decide where and when to meet, and for how long – whatever best suits members' particular situations.

Run your Group: Choose a secretary to liaise with WEA and your tutor, a Discussion Leader to chair meetings, a reporter to take discussion notes to send to your tutor, and maybe a librarian to look after the books.

Start the Course: Contact WEA Sydney to enrol. Bookings can be made for one year, divided into two terms – Term 1 commences in February, Term 2 in July (Groups may make forward bookings for popular choices). Please indicate in what order your Group wishes to study the courses, if more than one course is booked.