EN 232 Introduction to Poetry
SP 2011 HO
Adjunct English Instructor
M.F.A. Poetry, Iowa Writers' Workshop, University of IowaB.A. English, University of Central Missouri
Mabee 410B next to the McAfee Library
T TH 9-10 or by appointment. I'm also happy to meet with you online for discussion.
10:10 - 11:25 AM
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Poetry is one of the oldest forms of human expression. It is through poetry that we have a record of our most ancient cultural, religious and aesthetic histories. Poetry, as an art form, has persisted throughout the ages largely due to its many nuanced forms, including the most antiquated form, oral poetry. Poetry is a testament of what it means to be human, a witness of nature and history, and a search for meaning in the universe. Often readers feel disconnected to the academic approach to poetry, yet find themselves drawn to poetic expressions of their own. Accordingly, we will approach reading poetry as an act of pleasure before we endeavor to intellectualize it. We will unveil the mysteries of the human experience through poetry first by enjoying the poems, and then by unraveling them.
In this course, we will read a wide variety of modern and contemporary poetry. We’ll balance the readings by juxtaposing the early writers like Whitman, with more modern writers like Ginsberg. In this way, we will trace the effects of early poets on later poets by reading them side by side. It is my belief that this method, though not always chronological, is a more intuitive and ultimately more interesting approach to poetry. We’ll read primarily English writing poetry from America and Britain, though we’ll also explore post-war Polish poetry as well. (Polish poets like Milosz, and Wislawa Szymborska are among my favorites!) We’ll conclude the semester by reading contemporary poetry by living poets who have expanded the boundaries of what poetry is, what poetry contains, as well as what comprises poetic language. In short, we’ll be reading poetry that contains cell phones and text messages, poems that speak to us through today’s language and seek to complicate our understanding of our era in history. Primarily, the contemporary poets we’ll look at are Robert Hass, Claudia Rankine and Zachary Schomburg.
Though this class will require close reading of poetry, it is first and foremost a class of enjoyment. We will have a laid-back atmosphere and have fun reading and discussing the assigned poetry. This is an introductory level class and so will not be academically rigorous, but will be challenging. We will change the way we think about poetry, history and what it means to be human.
Students will work on a short group presentation on a poet of their choosing (more on this later). In addition to the presentation, students will be responsible for writing a short analytical paper on a poem of their choice. Each week we will have short in-class writing exercises to explore the ways we interpret and respond to the week’s reading.
My goal is for you to be exhilarated by poetry, and to have a better understanding of poetic form!
Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
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 RubricClass Assessment:
Late Submission of Course Materials: All course work must be submitted on time. Late work WILL NOT be graded.
Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Everyone will come to class prepared, having closely read the assigned work. We will engage in respectful, yet passionate conversations about poetry. Generative discussion is essential to the success of this class and your grade.
Course Topic/Dates/Assignments: Rhiannon Dickerson/Intro to Poetry/ Spring 2011
Tentative Schedule of Readings and Assignments:
Week 1: Syllabus, Name Game, Circle discussion, Read: Whitman, 3-23. In-class diagnostic essay.
Week 2: Read: Whitman, 865-870, Ginsberg’s “Howl” found here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=179381
Week 3: Dickinson, 32-41 and 870-872 and Frost 203-224, and 984-986.
Week 4: Yeats TBA, assign student presentation
Week 5: Yeats cont. NO CLASS FRIDAY—prep for presentation
Week 6: Sandburg 227-229 and return to Frost TBA. Workshop presentations.
Weeks 7 and 8: STUDENT PRESENTATIONS AND MID-TERM EXAM over student presentations—students write exam questions.
Week 9: NO CLASS—SPRING BREAK!!!! Begin reading Imagist poets—Williams and Pound. Over break, you will need to find one contemporary poet to tell the class about and from which to read a selected poem.
Week 10: High Modernism vs. Modernism: Williams, Pound, H.D.
Week 11: Eliot; Assign short paper
Week 12: War poets: Owen, Sassoon, Graves and Weigl
Week 13: Workshop short paper; Post-war Polish Poetics: Milosz, Szymborska, etc.
Week 14: PAPER DUE; Polish poetry cont. Begin The Man Suit
Week 15: Schomburg, Rankine, Hass, and maybe Anne Carson or Arda Collins—
Week 16: Prep for final
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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
Plagiarism: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. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96
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 .
Last Updated:1/9/2011 4:24:21 PM