Introduction to Poetry - 2nd year

Students will become familiar with various forms of poetry of many different periods including the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the 18th Century, the Victorian Era, and Modern and Contemporary periods. Students will learn various methods of reading poetry and of analysis of poets and poems.


By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of poetry of various forms and periods;

2. Recognize and identify different formal rhythmic properties of poems and of language as a whole;

3. Analyze and evaluate the aesthetic impact of individual poems;

4. Recognize and identify poets of various commitments, styles, and periods;

5. Demonstrate understanding of and apply poetic vocabulary essential to the practice of literary criticism;

6. Demonstrate understanding of individual poems and poets in their historical, social, economic, cultural, and political contexts;

7. Produce and evaluate their creative and analytical writing.


Course topics will include the following:

1. Readings of poets such as: Shelley, Blake, Wordsworth, Eliot, Auden, Pound, Bishop, Williams, Frost, Carroll, in Old and Middle English translations; Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas, Hopkins and many others

2. Discussion of metrical and formal properties of poetry and rhythm (iambic pentameter, accentual/syllabic, accentual poetry, sonnets, villanelles, etc.)

3. Discussion of poetic devices (symbol, metaphor, synaesthesia, imagery, lyric and narrative style, etc.)

4. Creation and evaluation of original poetry, some of which imitates literary models

5. Discussion of the historical, political, social cultural, economic and religious influences on poetry and poets

6. Reading and discussion of essay in literary criticism as they relate to poetry and poets read in the course

7. Appreciating poetry both as a reading and listening experience

Method of Instruction:

1. Lecture

2. Seminar/discussion

3. Audio tapes of poets reading

4. Documentary film

Types of Assignments:

1. 2 short papers

2. Term paper

3. Original poems

4. Oral presentation: readings of poetry and essays in literary criticism.