English | Introduction to Poetry
L205 | 12586 | Shannon Gayk

Shannon Gayk

12586 - 10:10a-11:00a MWF (25 students) 3 cr., A&H, IW

This course is an introduction to the art and historical development
of poetry. Its goal is to help students learn to appreciate and
understand poetry, and, even more importantly, to enjoy reading it,
discussing it, and writing about it.  Over the course of the
semester, we will survey the historical development of lyric poetry,
starting with Greek lyrics and concluding with lyrics written in the
last decade. As we discuss the history of and changes in poetic
style and form, we will acquire the interpretive tools needed to be
good readers of poetry. By the end of the course, students will have
mastery of major poetic conventions, forms, and techniques. Finally,
we will explore the larger questions and issues raised by these
poems and ask whether or not the central themes and concerns of
poetic art have changed over the course over the two millennia of
poetry we will survey.

Authors considered in this course include (but are not limited to!):
Sappho, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Herbert, Donne, Milton, Wordsworth,
Coleridge, Whitman, Dickenson, Yeats, Frost, Pound, Eliot, and
Auden.  Our class time will be structured largely by discussion of
the assigned poetry, so regular attendance and engaged participation
will be expected. Other course requirements include three papers,
two exams, and a number of shorter and more informal assignments,
including reciting poetry aloud, annotating poems, and creative
exercises that involve trying out some poetic forms and stylistic