ENGLISH 240 - Introduction to Poetry
Section: 001 The Jaws that Bite, the Claws that Catch!
Term: WN 2013
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Asked to give a definition of poetry, Robert Frost replied, “Poetry is the kind of thing poets write.” We’ll see if we can expand upon that definition just a bit. We’ll read a great deal of poetry (spanning 2700 years and several continents), and we’ll discuss the specific qualities — of tone, of music, of imagery — that make some poems worth rereading (and rereading, and rereading). We’ll look at forms ranging from the sonnet to the villanelle to the double abecedarian. Along the way we’ll try to get a sense of the imaginative possibilities open to poets, both today and in the past. We’ll find Perry Mason characters facing off in sestinas. We’ll see The Waste Land refashioned as a series of limericks. We’ll read poems supposedly scribbled on Wendy’s customer comment cards. Assignments will include explications, memorizations, imitations, competitive forgeries, and a final paper. At all times, we’ll keep John Berryman’s aim in mind: “to write so good . . . the trolls of language will scream and come over to [our] side.”

Texts: (1) Making Your Own Days, Kenneth Koch; (2) The Rattle Bag, Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes, eds.

ENGLISH 240 - Introduction to Poetry
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Coursepack Location:
Accu-Copy (518 East William Street)
The course packet won't be available for pickup until the first day of the semester.
ISBN: 0684824388
Making Your Own Days The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry., Author: Kenneth Koch., Publisher: Touchstone 1st Touchs 1998
ISBN: 0571225837
The rattle bag, Author: ed. by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes., Publisher: Faber and Faber 3. [print. 2007
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