EN 232 Introduction to Poetry
F1T 2011 DL
Adjunct Faculty of English
M.A. in English Literature from New York UniversityB.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from New York University
Mondays, Wednesdays 10am-11am, ET (and by appointment)
08/15/2011 to 10/09/2011
Meyer, Michael. Poetry: An
Introduction. 6th edition. Boston: Bedford, St. Martin's, 2010.
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
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What impresses me most about
literature is the way it cross references so many other aspects of culture,
history, religion, morality, art and society. All of these are often reflected
in literary works, and when read, help us to create a web of understanding that
hopefully transcends our usual thinking.
My desire is to assist all of you
in discovering that these aspects of study are important to the well-rounded,
worldly mind. Through our experience we will all mature with a broader
understanding and an ability to view literature through a variety of lenses.
Exploring literature exercises
our thinking and helps us rise above our traditional day-to-day thought. The
critical thinking involved in our analysis and exploration will prepare us with
a comprehensive set of tools that will allow us to stand out from the masses in
our chosen careers.
Probably the most critical
element to our success this term is that we stay connected and promote
communication. It is my wish that we create an environment where even the most
tentative student feels comfortable in reaching out. Please feel free to email
me with any questions and/or concerns as I check my email throughout each day
and am always happy to hear from all of you.
Of equal importance in learning,
online or otherwise, is that we maintain an environment of respect. All
correspondence with peers, including feedback and critiques, need to be
delivered with the utmost regard for upholding the principles of kindness and
respect. We are all working our way through life with our own unique
difficulties; flexibility and adaptability are essential to creating the most
fruitful learning environment.
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:
Measurement of Discussion Thread
a) Posting shows a clear and insightful analysis of
question, lengthy in response (350 words or more), with specific examples
from the text. Application of poetic terminology from assigned chapters shows
firm grasp of concepts.
b) Additional response to fellow student is also clear and insightful with
ample detail, excellent use of poetic terminology, and collegial disputation.
Response is a minimum of long enough to show deep engagement. Suggested
length: about 100 words or more). NOTE: Word count does NOT include copying
a) Thoughtful insight, complete in length (250-300 words),
with references to the text and a strong sense of how the poem works.
Application of poetic terminology from assigned chapters is good, with only
b) Additional response to fellow student is satisfactory, with meaningful
detail, very good use of poetic terminology, and collegial disputation. Focus
is clearly on the poetry. Length is long enough to show ample engagement.
Suggested length: 75-100 words.
a) Acceptable analysis, minimal in length (under 200
words). Main ideas are presented clearly, though more detail is needed.
Application of poetic terminology from assigned chapters is generally good,
but may reveal occasional gaps in understanding.
b) Additional response to fellow student is clear but minimal. Comments tend
to be collegial, but lack rigorous critical analysis or disputation. Use of
poetic terminology is slight. Suggested length: 50-75 words or more.)
a) Spotty discussion of text, minimal in length, lacks
full understanding or does not express ideas clearly. Lacks specific
examples. Uses little poetic terminology from assigned reading, or does not
apply terminology in any meaningful way. Tends to over focus on personal
feelings without explaining how the poem evokes such feelings.
b) Additional response to fellow student is minimal, unclear, or does not
provide relevant observations. The response may wander from the question or
suggest lack of careful reading of assignment.
a) Spotty discussion with minimal length of under 150
words. Response shows little or no evidence of clear understanding of poetic
concepts. Application of poetic terminology is weak.
b) Additional response to fellow student is minimal or garbled, lacks detail,
or simply states, “I like what you said” without any attempt at disputation
Does not meet expectations because of lack of length, lack
of detail, poorly expressed, does not participate, does not apply poetic
terminology, or does not meet deadlines.
Grading Rubric for Week 1 Response Paper (20 points) below:
and introductory paragraph set up sharp focus on a fresh idea with a clearly
is logical, relevant, easy to follow and compelling to read. Transitions are
smooth and lead the reader effortlessly through the paper.
well-chosen quotes from the poems; explanations are logical and convincing.
Personal perspectives provide are convincing and to the point.
paper skillfully and artfully employs Standard Written English in a strong
personal voice. Use of quotes are skillfully documented using MLA. Meets or
exceeds length requirement and follows all instructions.
Well chosen and appropriate focus,
with only occasional lapses from primary purpose.
Organization is easy to follow
though sometimes lacks needed transitions.
Good use of detail, and analysis,
with appropriately chosen quotes. Strong sense of personal exploration.
paper shows a strong command of Standard Written English with only occasional
gaps. Follows instructions. Adequate use of MLA documentation for quotes.
Meets length requirement without apparent struggle.
The paper begins with a good
focus, but strays from the point.
The organization is mostly clear,
though occasional digressions are not explained and distract the reader.
Detailed examples are good, though
connections are not always clear; explanations are adequate but repetitive
with little new insight. Personal voice is evident, though sometimes gets
The paper shows a basic command of
Standard Written English, but is often wordy or awkwardly phrased.
Documentation of quotes shows some problems with format.
May fall short of length requirement; may not follow all instructions.
The paper lacks a strong, clear
focus. The point is vague and unclear.
The organization is difficult to
follow, lacks helpful signposts, or fails to provide logical and convincing
Detail is vague, with little or no
explanation. More specific examples are needed or connections lack
explanation. Personal insights are irrelevant, inadequately explained, or
The paper does not follow the
conventions of SWE and contains many surface errors, preventing the reader
from understanding the point. Quotes lack adequate documentation. Either
falls short of length requirement or wanders with no clear direction. May not
follow all instructions.
The paper lacks a coherent point,
presents puzzling claims, and exhibits lack of understanding of assignment.
The organization shows confusion
and lack of direction.
Detail is vague, quotes are
missing or irrelevant, or paper does not respond to requirements of the
assignment. Personal insights are irrelevant or puzzling.
The writing shows a lack of
attention to SWE and documentation, and uses an inappropriate voice.
Disregards instructions and requirements.
Does not turn in assignment or
paper is insufficient in all areas.
Grading Rubric for Week 3 Response Paper (25 points) below:
13 and below
Grading Rubric for Week 5 Response Paper (35 points) below:
18 and below
FOR FIRST DRAFT of ANTHOLOGY PROJECT:
all required components for First Draft:
Title Page with name of anthology and name of editor;
Table of Contents with titles of poems to be discussed;
Clear rationale for anthology;
Draft discussion of poems with ample detail;
Evidence of a clear direction and thoughtful planning.
draft submitted, but lacks all required components, or does not provide
enough evidence of a clear direction, although it is possible to see what the
writer has in mind..
not submit, or submits a paper that is too undeveloped or unclear to shed
light on writer’s plans for the anthology. Essential detail is missing.
FOR FINAL DRAFT OF CRITICAL PAPER: ANTHOLOGY PROJECT
well defined and innovative.
theme is innovative and explained clearly and thoroughly. Choice of
poems is thoughtful with innovative connections.
attention to elements of poetry with skilled use of close reading techniques
that convincingly assesses meaning and shows creative insight. Details are
relevant and fully explained.
paper skillfully and artfully employs Standard Written English in a strong
personal voice. Use of quotes skillfully documented using MLA style. Meets or
exceeds length requirement. Includes all components, going beyond the
focus, with only occasional lapses from primary purpose.
to anthology’s theme is innovative. Explanation is not always clear.
Rationale for selection of poems good.
is easy to follow though sometimes lacks needed transitions.
attention to elements of poetry with good use of close reading; evidence of
exceptional insight. Use of detail is good and relevant to central argument.
command of Standard Written English with only occasional gaps. Adequate use
of MLA. Meets length requirement documentation.
initial focus, but paper strays from the point.
is acceptable but predictable with little new insight; thematic
grouping of poems is good but lacks full rationale.
organization is mostly clear, though occasional digressions are not explained
and distract the reader.
attention to elements of poetry, with weak or incomplete use of close
reading. Detail is vague, though connections are acceptable despite lack of
command of Standard Written English. Documentation problematic.
fall short of length requirement, or may not include all required components.
paper lacks a strong, clear focus. The point is vague and unclear.
not make a convincing argument for why the poems chosen belong together, or
relies on ideas that are obvious or overdone.
organization is difficult to follow, lacks helpful signposts, or fails to
provide logical connections.
attention to elements of poetry, with incomplete and unconvincing
interpretation. No sufficient evidence of skill in close reading.
is vague, irrelevant, or unexplained.
understanding of the conventions of SWE. Contains many surface errors,
Inadequate documentation. Does not meet length requirement. May not include
all required components.
paper lacks a coherent point, presents puzzling claims, and exhibits poor
understanding of assignment.
thematic approach is minimally explained and choice of poems remains obvious
organization shows confusion and lack of direction.
use of poetic terms without appropriate examples. Detail is scattered, with
no coherent discussion, and leaves the reader dissatisfied.
writing shows a lack of attention to SWE and documentation, and uses an
inappropriate voice. Disregards assignment requirements.
not turn in assignment or paper is insufficient in all areas.
Core Assessment: Critical Paper
Core Assessment for this course is a critical paper consisting of 5-8
pages. The paper will include research in addition to personal
statements; internal MLA documentation; Works Cited page.
draft will be due in week 7. The final, polished paper will due in Week
8. The due date for this paper will be Sunday night at 11:59 of Week 8.
**NOTE: A DRAFT of the final paper must be submitted no later than SATURDAY at 11:59 of WEEK 7.
Students who do not submit a DRAFT of the final paper will earn 0 points
for the critical paper, and may not submit a final draft paper. This
means a grade of “F” will be assigned to the core assessment, which is
30% of the final grade.
What is a draft? As you no doubt learned in your Freshman writing courses, a draft is a rough exploration
of your project. A draft is not perfect; it does not include
everything. However, it should be focused enough, and include enough
detail to illustrate to your reader your topic, your point of view, and
how you I intend to develop the paper. It should include the Works Cited
page, and the quotations you intend to examine.
Why do I ask for a draft?
I require a draft so that I can see what you intend to do, and can
offer suggestions and advice. You will receive feedback on your draft by
Sunday evening. You will then have a week to revise the draft and
submit it the following week.
Click on the link below to go to the Syllabus site to select and view the Core Assessment Rubric for this course:
Core Assessment Rubric
Weekly Learning Activities and Assessments: Discussion Threads, Response Papers, and Quizzes
will be asked to respond to course readings, prompts, and materials by
posting weekly Discussion Threads, by writing Response Papers, and by
taking occasional quizzes and exams. Each of these assignments is
described below, and more detail is provided for each specific weekly
a. Discussion Threads: Due Wednesday and Friday of each week.
week, each of you will post a response to a prompt or question based on
the week’s reading. Your first posting is due no later than Wednesday 11:59 CT; the second posting is due no later than Friday 11.59 CT.
Points possible for Discussion Threads:
10 points are rewarded for discussion postings that are fully developed
with detail according to the Rubric for Discussion Threads. (See Rubric
under “Discussion Threads” button for each week.)
b. Response Papers: Due on Sunday evenings no later than 11:59.
A total of 3 short Response Papers
will be submitted throughout the term. These papers will explore one or
more of the poems in the assigned reading. Each will be progressively
longer as we progress through the term.
response papers analyze the poetry with attention to specific features
of poetry addressed in that week’s reading assignment, these papers are
not “research papers.” They are your reactions to a
question provided by the professor, or to an assigned “Considerations”
question following the poem in your textbook. They should be written in
your own voice (using “I”), not in the voice of an
unidentifiable “research persona.” Poetry is personal; your reactions
are personal. Therefore, your writing will be personal. At the same
time, you are learning in this course how to analyze poetry.
personal in this course does not mean you are writing to your best
friend. It means that you are writing as a real student of poetry to
another reader of poetry (in this case, yes, your professor). Audience
and purpose are important; pretending to be an unidentifiable (and
perhaps pompous) academic is not the goal. Learning to analyze what is
important to you is the goal, as is learning to document specific lines
from the poem(s) you are analyzing.
More detail for each Response Paper is provided with each specific assignment.
c. Quizzes: Submitted no later than Sunday at 11:59.
you are not asked to write a Response Paper, you will be asked to take a
short-answer quiz over the readings for that week. (These are planned
for Weeks 2, 4, and 6). These will be short-answer quizzes, or based on
the readings for that week.
Points for these exams may vary from week to week depending on the demands of the quiz/exam.
d. Final Exam:
final, written exam worth 60 points will be given during Finals Week.
You should be prepared to write a short critical essay, which will
include some personal response (just as you have done in the response
papers), based on a question and a poem you will be given at the time of
you keep up with the work in the course, including the Discussion
Threads, the Response Papers, the critical paper, and all the reading,
this exam should actually present you with work that will be
intellectually stimulating and rewarding. You might even enjoy it!
are expected to participate in all class activities. This includes
checking in weekly and responding to discussion thread questions;
keeping up with the reading; submitting assignments; etc. If you
conscientiously keep up with weekly reading and writing assignments, the
question of participation will not even arise as a problem.
must realize that passing this course is impossible unless you keep up
with weekly reading and writing assignments. Participation is a given:
you must submit postings to Discussion Threads, and submit all other
work on time in order to earn enough points to pass this course. Grades
on all these assignments indicate participation, the most significant
indicator being your timely presence, and depth of response, in class
We will move quickly through the term; don’t stop or hesitate. Just do the best you can do, and keep up with the work.
Because of the nature of this online, 8-week course, late assignments are not an option. Discussion Threads may not
be posted late for obvious reasons: your lack of participation directly
affects the entire class, since you will not be responding to the
questions of the week, or to the comments of your classmates.
best advice about submitting assignments is this: never wait until the
deadline to submit your work. Things happen: computers break down;
internet connections don’t work or are interrupted; you get sick. So:
Plan Ahead. Manage your time. Even if you can’t do it all, do what you
can. Submit something rather than nothing. Don’t panic, and don’t give
up. You are smart, and you can do this.
The following student projects will be assessed:
Final Grading Scale
10pts and 5pts
A 360 – 400
3 Response Papers
20, 25, and 35pts.
B 320 - 359
C 280 - 319
Draft 10pts Final 70 pts
D 240 - 279
Final Essay Exam**
F 239 and below
Late Submission of Course Materials:
There are no extensions or make-ups
for discussion threads for any reason.
Work must be written in Microsoft
Word and double-spaced using Times New Roman, 12 point font. Extra Credit
will not be offered.
Work submitted to previous courses
are not to be submitted to this course. All work for this course must be
Classroom Rules of Conduct:
We are about to embark on an exciting journey
together. This journey will be challenging at times and will allow you to
flex your cognitive muscles as you try things you may have never attempted
before in analysis and writing.
Before we get started, I would like to give you a few guidelines for our
work together as a good, trusting, collaborative environment is built through
mutual respect and careful, meditative action.
When responding to peer posts, please use full
sentences, proper Standard English (with correct grammar) and always address
peers by name. Posts should never belittle or address personal issues, but
should always pertain to the work at hand and have a professional, respectful
tone. Your posts should add comprehensively to the discussion and, in some
way, aid your peers in their learning process, as it will undoubtedly help you
in yours. Please avoid using capital letters and exclamations as these can both
be perceived as shouting. I also expect all students to avoid slang or any
When posting to the discussion board, or question area, please avoid discussing
personal issues, including grades. These types of exchanges should be carried
out privately through email.
These same standards apply when corresponding with me, or any of your fellow
students, through email. Please always maintain a respectful and professional
tone. When emailing, please also introduce yourself each time and include
the course number in your reference line (Re:).
I look forward to working with you all through
the coming weeks. Please never hesitate to contact me as I very much enjoy
hearing from my students.
Getting Started: how do
we read poetry?
Introduction: “Reading Imaginative Literature”
Chapter 1, “Reading Poetry”
Chapter 2, “Writing about Poetry”
Discussion Thread (15pts)
Response Paper on assigned poem (20pts)
Chapter 3, “Word Choice, Word Order, and Tone”
Chapter 4, “Images”
Chapter 5, “Figures of Speech”
Quiz on tone, imagery, and figures of speech (20pts)
Chapter 6, “Symbol,
Allegory, and Irony”
Chapter 7, “Sounds”
Chapter 12: “A Study of Emily Dickinson”
Discussion Thread (15 pts)
Response Paper on Dickinson (25pts)
Chapter 8, “Patterns of Rhythm”
Chapter 9, “Poetic Forms”
Chapter 10, “Open Form”
Quiz on poetic forms (20pts)
Chapter 11, “Combining the Elements of Poetry:
A Writing Process”
Chapter 17, “Critical Case Study: T.S. Eliot’s
‘The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prurock’”
Response Paper on J. Alfred Prufrock (35pts)
Chapter 18, “A Thematic Case Study: Love and Longing”
Also read the
following additional poems on the theme of love and longing:
“Bonny Barbara Allen”
William Blake,”The Garden of Love”
Robert Burns, “A Red, Red Rose”
A.E. Housman, “Is my team ploughing?”
Ben Jonson, “To Celia”
Chapter 21, “A
Thematic Case Study: Border Crossings”
Chapter 23, “An Album
of World Literature”
Quiz on poems from Chapter 18 (20pts)
16, “A Study of Julia Alvarez: Five Poems”
Note especially “Sometimes the Words Are So Close”, along with comments by
Alvarez, “On Writing ‘Sometimes the Words Are So Close". Following the
poems are drafts of the poem.
Chapter 23, “A
Collection of Contemporary Poems”
Chapter 26, “Critical
Strategies for Reading”
Chapter 27, “Reading
and the Writing Process””
Discussion Thread on Julia Alvarez (15pts)
DRAFT OF CRITICAL PAPER DUE by Saturday midnight (10pts)
Chapter 14, “A Study of Langston Hughes”
Discussion Thread on Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance (15pts)
FINAL DRAFT OF CRITICAL PAPER DUE Saturday midnight (70pts)
Proctored Final Essay
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Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96
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Last Updated:7/19/2011 5:28:20 PM