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English 14B: Introduction to Poetry
Stephen Cramer
Spring 2009
Monday 5:10-8:10
Room: L/L-B B102
Office: 322 Old Mill
Office hours: Monday 3-5
Course Description:

This class, as an introduction to the art of poetry, meets at the intersection of the aesthetic and the
technical. Because of this, students will discover not just whether they like or dislike a poem but why it is
(or is not) effective. Students will leave this course with a greater capacity to experience and express their
ideas about poetry.

This class will explore various styles and forms of poetry. Students are expected to read assigned essays
and poems, to bring them in marked and annotated, and to be ready to talk intelligently about them.
Readings will serve as points of departure for discussions on craft.

We learn by reading masters of the art. Students are urged to go to readings and to read as much as they
can outside class. They should not hesitate to ask for reading suggestions.
Evaluation Criteria:
Class Participation: 20%
Attendance is required in both body and spirit. This class is a dialogue, not a one-way lecture. Students
are expected to have something intelligent (even mind-blowing) to say if called upon. Be prepared.
Journals are not required, but if kept, they can be a good place to formulate thoughts to bring up in
class. Because of this, they can help students to boost class participation grades.
What should a student who does not participate in class expect for a grade? The hopeful may think a
\u201cB\u201d or a \u201cC.\u201d Lack of participation will result in a failing grade for this section of the class.
Quizzes: 20%
Students should expect periodic quizzes on the readings and discussions.
Tests: 30%
There will be two tests during the semester.
Essays: 30%

Students will complete two essays during the course of the semester:
--a four page paper which compares two poems
--a six page paper about a poet and her work (when you come across a poet whose work speaks to you

this semester, delve into more of that writer\u2019s work to see if he or she might be the source of an interesting
paper for you.)
NOTE: The deadlines are absolute. A letter grade will be detracted for every day a paper is late.

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