EN232 Introduction to Poetry

for F2T 2007

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Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


EN 232 Introduction to Poetry


F2T 2007 DL


Dr. Lolly Ockerstrom


Assistant Professor of English


B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (English), Northeastern University
Certificate, Martha's Vineyard Advanced Institutes on Writing

Office Location

321 Copley Hall

Office Hours

MF 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.; TR 10:00 - 10:50; and by appointment.

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

22 October - 15 December 2007

Class Days


Class Time



A hunger for poetry!

Credit Hours




  • Meyer, Michael. Poetry: An Introduction.  5th edition. Boston: Bedford, St. Martin's, 2007. [Packaged with CD Rom, Literature Aloud]
  • Any good dictionary
  • Any good writer's handbook, i.e.: Andrea Lunsford, easy Writer : A Pocket Reference. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin's, 2006.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Park University online writing lab. Use pull down menu on Park website to make appointments for both online and in-person sessions.
Purdue University online writing lab: www.purdueowl.edu

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:

A study of approaches to reading, understanding, and analyzing lyric poetry in English and American literature. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

As Paulo Freire argues in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, students are not empty vessels into which professors must pour knowledge. Students bring many experiences and other types of knowing to the classroom. In the spirit of Freire, I try to set up a collaborative classroom environment in which students use what they already know to learn more, and to teach each other. In the online environment, this means using the discussion threads, the virtual cafe, and any other means available to the class to communicate with each other.

Your presence in this course testifies to your interest in poetry--which in itself identifies you as a person with far-reaching interests in language, words, and ideas. I'm delighted you are here! Together, we will discuss the readings, share insights and passions about poetry, and discuss readings in critical terms using the language of poetry. Concentrate on giving honest appraisals, and on expressing your own ideas--and you'll find that as you develop a vocabulary for discussing poetry, you will enjoy the poetry even more than when you began.
Good scholars are concerned with asking questions, looking beyond the obvious, and thinking about words and what they mean. They develop habits of mind that include reading and rereading, thinking and rethinking, and sharing responses with others, which sometimes just means exploring the slippery nature of language.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the definitive features of poetry as a literary genre
  2. Discuss a representative range of poetic texts
  3. Articulate a response/ interpretation of a single text or body of related texts

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Write clearly and with appropriate detail in all required communication venues.
Core Assessment:

All Park University courses will include a Core Assessment with rubric. This will include ¾ of the Core LearningOutcomes listed above. The Core Assessment in this course will be a major critical paper of no fewer than 5 pages, which will include research and MLA documentation. The project will be completed in the final quarter of the term.

 The rubric for this assignment is published so the student can see the expectations. 

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Students will be assessed on the following:
Discussion Threads 30%

3 Response Papers

3 Quizzes 15%
Final Project 20%
Final Essay Exam 15%
Total 100%

Extra credit assignments are not given.


1. Discussion Threads:          120 points
2. Response papers:           80 points
3. Quizzes:                         60 points
4. Critical Project:                 80 points
5. Final Essay Exam:              60 points
TOTAL POINTS      400 points
            A   380 - 400 
            B   360 - 379
            C   340 - 359
            D   320 - 339
            F   Below 320   

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All work is expected to be turned in on time in order to avoid an assessment of 0.
Please note the following: 
  • Late postings to Discussion Threads will receive 0 points.
  • In order to receive credit for the Final Project, you must submit the rough draft in Week 7 as well as the final draft in Week 8. No final draft paper for the Final Project will be accepted unless you have submitted the rough draft as required. A grade of 0 will be assigned to the Final Project, and this will result in a failing grade for the course.
  • Taking the Final Exam is required, and failure to do so will result in a failing grade for the course. Don't let this happen!



Classroom Rules of Conduct:

All students are expected to:
  • All students are to show respect for each other, the Professor, and the subject matter using discourse appropriate to an academic environment;
  • Follow instructions for turning in work;
  • Participate in all activities outlined in handouts and explained verbally;
  • Honor guidelines relating to academic honesty and plagiarism.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Please see the weekly assignments in the online course for full detail. Also check announcements each week.
WEEK ONE: Introduction, chapters 1 and 2. Reading and Writing about Poetry. Discussion. Response paper.
WEEK TWO: Chapters 3, 4, and 5. Word Choice, Word Order, and Tone; Images; Figures of Speech. Discussion. Quiz.
WEEK THREE: Chapters 6, 7, and 12. Sounds of Poetry; Listening to Poetry; Rhyme; Meter; Focus on Emily Dickinson. Discussion. Response Paper.
WEEK FOUR: Chapters 8, 9, and 10. Patterns of Rhythm, Poetic Forms, Open Form. Discussion. Quiz. 
WEEK FIVE: Chapters 11, 16. Combining Elements of Poetry. Focus on T.S. Eliot. Discussion. Response Paper.
WEEK SIX: Chapters 21, 23. Thematic readings: Border Crossings and World Poetry. Discussion. Quiz.
WEEK SEVEN: Chapters 15, 24, 26, 27. Focus on Julia Alvarez. Contemporary Poetry. Reading and Writing. Literary Research Paper. Discussion. First Draft of Final Project.
WEEK EIGHT: Chapters 13 and 14. Focus on Robert Frost and Langston Hughes. Discussion. Final Draft of Final Project. Final Essay Exam.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86
Always do your own work.

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85
Any student found to have deliberately plagiarized will receive a failing grade for the course.

Do your own work. Use MLA documentation style for any information you have included in your paper that comes from an outside source. If in doubt about whether you have plagiarized, ask me or use the Academic Support Center.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Offers clearly stated personal and critical insights to interpretation of poem or poems. Makes adequate personal and critical statements, which are relevant and interpretive. Provides only plot summary, biographical information, or fails to retain focus on poem or poems. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA documentation style perceptively and creatively in ways that provide new insights into the poem or poems. Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA documentation style adequately without particularly fresh insights, but still retains personal voice. Primary and secondary sources used rarely if at all and without adequate MLA documentation. Insights are predictable. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Provides convincing and innovative connections between texts through careful close reading of poem(s). Provides connections between texts that are obvious but nonetheless plausible and interesting. Connections between texts remain vague and undeveloped. Critique not supported by close readings. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Poetic and critical terminology applied skillfully throughout paper. Poetic and critical terminology used adequately throughout much of the paper. Rarely employs appropriate poetic and critical terminology, misuses it, or omits it altogether. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Skillfully interweaves passages from poem(s) and critical texts as well as strong personal statements that illustrate main point of essay. Adequately incorporates passages from poem(s) and passages from critical texts as well as some personal statements to prove thesis. Rarely provides specific passages from poem(s) or critical theory for analysis, or does so without making connections clear. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Employs conventions of Standard Written English with grace and style in a well organized, fully developed essay. Employs conventions of Standard Written English adequately in a reasonably well organized and developed essay. Writing shows persistent problems with the use of Standard Written English. Statements are often illogical, incomprehensible; organization and development of ideas do not support thesis. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Multicultural Component                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Gracefully incorporates discussion of the work of one or more multicultural issue and shows relevance to theme of paper. Incorporates discussion of the work of at least one multicultural issue and provides relevant analysis. May mention work of a multicultural issue, but not in any meaningful way. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Provides links among a range of poetic texts                                                                                                                                                                                                               
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Analysis includes full discussion of a range of poetic texts. An attempt is made to include discussion of a range of texts. Paper does not address a range of texts. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 


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Last Updated:9/30/2007 1:04:36 PM