E240 – Introduction to Poetry

Credit Hours:

Course Level:

Semesters Offered:
Fall Spring Summer

Description: This course focuses on the basic elements of poetry with the goal of increasing student’s understanding and enjoyment of literature, through the disciplined skills of close critical reading, thinking and writing, and the application of those skills to an anthology of poetry that illustrates cultural development. The students will acquire the vocabulary necessary to support their experience of reading poetry through their consideration of the aesthetic effects of meter, prosody, diction, figurative language, and a variety of poetic forms.

A third of the course should address poetic techniques and types: voice, imagery, metaphor, connotation, use of implicative detail, methods of measuring and parceling out time (metrics), and conventional forms. The purpose of this introduction will be the recognition of the complex experience of poems. Another third to half the course will survey a “backbone anthology” of about 100 English and American poems that will include in its broad historical sweep poems from the Medieval era, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist periods and movements.

The remainder of the course applies the above study of techniques and context to a Contemporary selection of poems such as the New Voicesanthology and the study of a single poet in a single volume. Students are encouraged to attend readings throughout the semester as support for this part of the course.

Note: E240 is not a creative writing–writing poetry–class. If you are looking for a creative writing class, please see E210, E311, and E412.