FYS 101 Rhythm in Renaissance Verse & in Rap

Rap music is a form of poetry in which the rhythm is particularly pronounced. Literary critics have for centuries provided accounts of the rhythms in poetry, an enterprise referred to as prosody. But rap poses certain distinct challenges to the methods scholars have developed to account for rhythm. In this class, students will first be introduced to two different systems of prosody and will apply them to the poems of the Renaissance writers Wyatt, Surrey and Sidney. We will then ask which of the two systems best accounts for the rhythms in rap music, how the systems must be extended to do so, or whether a third system is needed.