A Literary Exploration of Delight (2S)


When we think of delight or wonder, we might think of extraordinary, “mountain top” experiences, but the truth is that peak, high intensity moments do not comprise most of our daily existence. Our lives are, in fact, made up of small moments that are easy to overlook in the business of living. By more closely noticing and savoring these moments, we can enrich our daily existence immensely. Poet W.B. Yeats wrote, “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

In this class, we’ll encounter a variety of essayists, writers, philosophers and poets who celebrate the small joys and ordinary wonders of everyday life. You, the students, will build a practice of noticing and documenting your own experiences of daily delight. Over the course of the semester, you will write a series of short reflections in different genres engaging in what the poet Ross Gay calls “scrounging for delight” and honing your “delight radar.” At the end of the semester, each of you will write and present a brief talk in which you share with your audience a deep dive into something that brings delight to your life.