Poets & Perception
July 22 – 28, 2018 | Annapolis, MD
Playful fairies spin love stories out of magic and illusion in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, inviting us to contemplate the deception of perception. What is really true if we cannot trust our own senses? Alongside Shakespeare, we will read Plato’s Theaetetus, where Socrates attempts to define what it means to know, and Dickinson and Wordsworth, two poets whose beautiful words challenge our notion of sight and speech. In laboratory, we use works by Aristotle and Boethius to examine the senses, their objects, and our access to them.
Classes and Readings
Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Plato, Theaetetus, excerpts
Aristotle, On the Soul, excerpts
Boethius, “Pythagoras and the hammers”
Shakespeare, Sonnet #46
Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”
Dickinson, “There’s a certain slant of Light”
Wordsworth, “Tintern Abbey”
Croquet, swing dancing, sailing, and choral singing
Tour of historic downtown Annapolis and a boat cruise on the Chesapeake Bay
At the St. John’s College Summer Academy, the community formed among students is a natural extension of the friendships and ideas formed in the classroom. To this end, Summer Academy students experience life at St. John’s by taking lessons in croquet, swing dancing, sailing, and choral singing. Students’ conversations about the heart will continue as they are taken on a historic tour of the Downtown Annapolis and embark upon a sunset cruise on the Chesapeake Bay.