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243 SYLLABUS FALL 2011 10.31.11

243 SYLLABUS FALL 2011 10.31.11 - What Is Poetry English...

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What Is Poetry? English 243, Fall 2011 Monday & Wednesday, 12:00–12:50 pm Architecture 0204 Friday discussion sections in various locations Instructor : Professor Michael Collier 3103 Tawes Office Hours: Monday 10-11:45; Wednesday 1-2 Telephone: 301-405-3819 Email: [email protected] Teaching Assistants: Adam Binkley, Austin Duck, Michael Gossett, and Amy Katzel (TA information below in Course Information & Policies). I. Course Materials 1) Course Packet: Available from College Copy Center but must be picked up at Big Planet Comics , 7315 Baltimore Ave., College Park, MD. Hours: M-T, 11 a.m.--7 p.m.; W, TH, F, 11 a.m.--8 p.m.; S, 11 a.m.--7 p.m.; and Sun., 11 a.m.--6 p.m. Major credit cards and cash are accepted. No personal checks . 301-699-0498. Price is $28.50. 2) Native Guard , Natasha Trethewey, Mariner Books, ISBN-10: 0618872655, $13.95. (Available at the University Book Center.) II. Course Purpose What is Poetry? is an inquiry into the oldest form of literature and an exploration of what is arguably the most complex, profound, and ubiquitous expression of human experience. A primary goal of the class is to develop a student’s ability to see that in patterns made from the sounds of words, the structures of syntax, the vividness of images, and the startling presence of metaphor, arises a mode of imaginative thinking founded on paradox and ambiguity--what the English poet John Keats calls “Negative Capability.” To be able to think like a poet allows us to perceive and interpret the world in more intricate and satisfying ways. Learning to read poems helps us to think like a poet and to see that such thinking engages every aspect of endeavor: science, politics, work, religion, and art. It also provides us with unique ways of comparing, across epochs and cultures, human responses to war, love, sickness, and death. What is Poetry? focuses on the close reading of individual poems primarily from Anglo- American and Western traditions, although consideration is given to non-Western
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traditions as well. Students will become familiar with the most significant forms and conventions of Western poetry, including the sonnet, villanelle, ballad, ode, blank verse, and free verse; as well as elements of prosody, such as meter, rhyme, diction, alliteration, assonance, and consonance to name a few. Students will also learn about poetry’s roots in oral and folk traditions and their connections to popular song forms such as ballads, blues, spirituals, rock and roll, and jazz. III. Learning Outcomes The course is designed so that students will achieve the following four Learning Outcomes as mandated by guidelines for the university’s Humanities General Education Courses. By the end of this course, students will be able to: 1) Demonstrate familiarity and facility with fundamental terminology and concepts in poetry. 2) Demonstrate understanding of methods used by scholars in poetry, i.e., close-reading analysis.
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