Like any Introduction this series of lectures only aims at providing the students with a number of basic concepts methods and perspectives on the nature of literature. As any poetics can be but of a structuralist kind we also thought that literarinescan be studied with reference to specific literary genres. Consequently the present volume includes lectures on structuralism in general structuralist poetics the complementary theory of reading on the distinction between poetry and prose and the poetics of poetry a second volume will be dedicated to fiction. We all read articles and short books (like this one) to which are appended vast arrays of footnotes most of which acknowledge debts to various works of other authors we may sometimes wonder whether to count it as scrupulous honesty or a tiresome display of erudition. Whatever the case may be we decided for our practical purposes to give up many of these and make? Just in case? The students reading more sustained and coherent. In fact the Bibliographyprovides clues to most of the writings we drew upon. One can hardly write today on such topics and be very original throughout. What we claim to have done is a systematic presentation of several authoritative views on the topics under consideration. We are naturally indebted to most of the books listed at the end and also to the generations of students in English who even by their simple presence contributed in the organization of this material.