Poetry 201: Introduction, Exploration, and Expansion

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$325.00

Description

Meets for 45 minutes per class, twice per week for 20 weeks.

Learners who wish to enroll in 201 and have not completed 101 will need to message me before enrollment. I do this so I can ensure learners have a solid foundation before continuing.

GOALS:
(1) to introduce learners to some of the achievements of poets writing in English
(2) to help learners become a discriminating and confident reader of poetry on their own, someone who is not afraid to seek out the poems published in, say, the latest New Yorker and who can read them with understanding and enjoyment. This is NOT a course in poetry writing.

By the end of the course, learners will find that poetry, though often difficult and demanding, can offer intense and complex pleasure–emotional, imaginative, and intellectual. Learners will better understand what poetry is and what kind of responses it invites from its readers, realizing that poetry is not just a prose idea cast into “secret code” or dressed in fancy clothes by a poet who could have made the point more directly.

We’ll read aloud, round-robin style, a wide range of poems from different historical periods, written in a varied range of forms and styles. The first of eight parts of the course will tend to emphasize the many elements of poetry and serve as a refresher of our 101 course—imagery, figurative language, tone, sound and rhythm, and so on. In the second part, we’ll spend more time considering what we can learn from studying a poem in the context of other poems by the same author or poems on a similar subject. Finally, the course also aims to help learners further develop their skills in analysis and writing. I’ll sometimes give brief lectures, but this course relies largely on discussion. Learners will be expected to do much of the talking. Response by typing is acceptable.

Homework will be assigned as noted on the anticipated course syllabus below. Learners will write three papers on various topics; this will take place over three weeks for each paper. Additionally, learners will make a presentation, and will have six weeks to complete this. A midterm will be given during Class 21, and a final exam during Class 40. Both will be graded and a rubric will be presented at least one week prior to the exams.

Anticipated Course Outline

Introduction—
Class 1: Introduction. What is a poem and how does one read it?
Class 2: Poems of altered perspective: Smart, from Jubilate Agno Raine, “A Martian Sends a Postcard Home”; Armitage, from “Killing Time”; Paper #1 homework assigned.
Class 3: Poems telling stories: the ballad tradition. “Lord Randal”, “Sir Patrick Spens”, and “Bonny Barbara Allan”
Class 4: A modern ballad: Auden, “As I Walked Out One Evening”

Speaker and situation (and the matter of tone)—
Class 5: Hardy, “The Ruined Maid”; Soyinka, “Telephone Conversation”
Class 6: Browning, “My Last Duchess”.
Class 7: Mew, “The Farmer’s Bride”; Jarrell, “Next Day”.
Class 8: TBA-Based on Class Choice.
Class 9: Frost, “Mending Wall”, “The Road Not Taken”; Paper #1 due.
Class 10: Swift, “The Lady’s Dressing Room”.

Sound, rhythm, form—
Class 11: Discussion of rhythm. Caedmon’s “Hymn”; Toomer, “Reapers”
Tennyson, “Break, Break, Break”, Brooks, “We Real Cool”.
Class 12: Dickinson, poem 359; Whitman, “Song of Myself,”.; Paper #2 homework assigned.
Class 13: Two villanelles: Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”; Bishop, “One Art”.
Class 14: A sestina: Hecht, “The Book of Yolek”. And a pantoum: Justice, “Pantoum of the Great Depression”.
Class 15: Hopkins, “God’s Grandeur”, “The Windhover”.
Class 16: (Think about rhyme.) Plath, “Daddy”.

Sonnets—
Class 17: Sonnet form; Hardy, “Hap”; Frost, “Design”; Millay, “I, Being Born . . .”; Sidney, Astrophil and Stella 71.
Class 18: Shakespeare’s sonnets 12, 73, 130. Paper #2 due.
Class 19: Shakespeare’s sonnets 20, 129, 138.
Class 20: Playing with the “turn”: Milton, “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent”, “On the Late Massacre in Piedmont”, “Methought I Saw”. Wordsworth, “Surprised by Joy”. Shelley, “Ozymandias”.
Class 21: (MIDTERM) EXAM.

Poems in relationships—
Class 22: Poems of childhood: Roethke, “My Papa’s Waltz”; Hayden, “Those Winter
Sundays”; Learner presentations assigned.
Class 23: Poems of childhood, continued. Komunyakaa, “Sunday Afternoons”;
Thomas, “Fern Hill”
Class 24: Poems of seduction: Donne, “The Flea”; Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress”.
Class 25: One poem answering another: Howard, “Nikolaus Mardruz. . .”; reread
Browning, “My Last Duchess”.

Poems by Elizabeth Bishop—
Class 26: “The Fish”; “Filling Station”.
Class 27: “At the Fishhouses” (handout).
Class 28: “Sestina”. ; Paper #3 homework assigned.
Class 29: “First Death in Nova Scotia” (handout).
Class 30: “In the Waiting Room”.
Class 31: “The Moose” (handout).
Class 32: The making of “One Art” (handouts).
Class 33: “Pink Dog” (handout).

Learner presentations on recently published poems—
Class 34: Presentations; Paper #3 due.
Class 35: Presentations.

A few last paired poems—
Class 36: Blake, “The Lamb”, “The Tyger”.
Class 37: Sidney, Astrophil and Stella 31; Larkin, “Sad Steps”.
Class 38: Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale”.
Class 39: Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”.
Class 40: FINAL EXAM

Schedule

Wed Sep 5, 2018 – Feb 15, 2019 at 10am Eastern

Wed Sep 5, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Sep 7, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Sep 12, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Sep 14, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Sep 19, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Sep 21, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Sep 26, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Sep 28, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Oct 3, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Oct 5, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Oct 10, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Oct 12, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Oct 17, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Oct 19, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Oct 24, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Oct 26, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Oct 31, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Nov 2, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Nov 7, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Nov 9, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Nov 14, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Nov 16, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Nov 30, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Dec 5, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Dec 7, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Dec 12, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Dec 14, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Dec 19, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Jan 9, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Jan 11, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Jan 16, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Jan 18, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Jan 23, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Jan 25, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Jan 30, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Feb 1, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Feb 6, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Feb 8, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Wed Feb 13, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern
Fri Feb 15, 2019, 10am – 10:45am Eastern

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