ENGLISH 297 - Introduction to Poetry
Section: 201
Term: SU 2010
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Prerequisite for concentrators in English and Honors English.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In this class, you’ll learn how to read — and enjoy — poetry. My goal is that you become able to encounter any poem with confidence and enthusiasm. Towards that end, the course is two-pronged. On the one hand, we’ll cover the basics of how to read verse by learning about its elements (such as form, poetic devices, rhyme, rhythm, tone, diction, imagery, and symbolism) and practice, practice, practice using those tools to understand how poems work. On the other, the course provides an overview of the history of verse. By summer’s end, you’ll be able to situate a poem in its historical context and describe how we got from Beowulf to Billy Collins.

To accomplish these goals, we’ll read poems by Shakespeare, Donne, Wyatt, Sidney, Blake, Whitman, Carroll, Hopkins, Dickinson, Cummings, Neruda, Blake, Brooks, Pound, Moore, Loy, and Williams, as well as more contemporary authors such as O’Hara, Berrigan, Ginsberg, Hejinian, Sikelianos, Bishop, Carson, Creeley, and Plath (plus any others you’d like to suggest!). Later in the semester, we’ll look for poetry outside the canon and academia by considering rap, blogs, and slam poetry. This class is a group effort: the course revolves around our lively discussion of the poems.

A midterm quiz, a final, two papers (5 pages), and four response papers will help me assess your progress achieving these aims. Michael Meyer’s Poetry: An Introduction (6th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s: ISBN 0-312-53919-1) is the course’s base text, but we’ll also work from material that I post on CTools.

ENGLISH 297 - Introduction to Poetry
Schedule Listing
201 (REC)
MW 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Note: English 240 will be Permission of Instructor after the first day of class.
202 (REC)
MW 4:00PM - 6:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780312539191
Poetry : an introduction, Author: [edited by] Michael Meyer., Publisher: Bedford/St. Martins 6th ed. 2010
ISBN: 0199265380
The poetry handbook : a guide to reading poetry for pleasure and practical criticism, Author: John Lennard., Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press 2. ed. 2005
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0226492508
The resistance to poetry, Author: James Longenbach., Publisher: University of Chicago Press 2005
Other Textbook Editions OK.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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