INTRODUCTION TO POETRY: How Does This Sound?

ENGLISH 271:201
Laura Goldstein: lgolds2@luc.edu
M, T, W, R 4-5:40 25 East Pearson Room: 306
Office: Office hours: Tuesday 3-4

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

In this course, you will gain an understanding of poetry through reading, discussion,
physical activity in the city, and listening and writing both critically and creatively.

The texts for this course cover a range of periods in history as well as geographic area.
They also cover a lot of territory of form, from the traditional to the experimental, from
the page to the speaker.

Discussions are generally accompanied by writing activities that relate to the issues in our
discussion. Writing activities tend to frame each class session: you may be given a
prompt to give you a chance to get your thoughts together for discussion. After a while,
I’ll be asking you to come up with prompts based on your interests. After discussion, an
activity may be based on a set of constraints designed to expand the notions of the form
we’ve encountered, as well as to challenge and develop the student’s specific language
skills. Sometimes the activity is a prompt that asks the student to explore a subject area

related to what we have read. In all cases, your personal experiences with and opinions of
the poems are valid. What matters most is that you find some way to engage with the
pieces, to read them actively, to understand them on a certain level and to be able to
respond to what you have read in writing.

The writing you do for this class will be mostly during class sessions. You will be
that
asked to share work that you are comfortable with. You will be turning in a midterm
essay and a final paper. Keep in mind that all the creative writing that we do in the class
is meant to not only broaden your understanding of the poetry through your own hand,

but to open up a space between the creative and the critical so that you may write well.
The papers are expected to be clear, organized and with a solid point of view.

The papers are intended to be an opportunity for you to show me the skills that you have
learned in discussing poetry. This includes: using vocabulary learned in class, using
various interpretive strategies to explain the meaning of the poems and finding the
appropriate voice to strongly state your views.
POLICIES: Students are expected to attend ALL class sessions and to arrive on time.
Participation is required to pass the course and your presence is required to
participate, so please keep that in mind. Please communicate with me via email
when absent to make up work. Summer session attendance policy: if you miss
more than 2 sessions unexcused (doctor’s appointments, religious holidays,
family emergencies are excused. Please ask to find out if an absence with be
excused) your grade will begin to drop. If you miss more than 4 class sessions,
you will be in danger of failing the course.

Summer session assignment policy: webe sharing work with each other in
will
class. Reading work out loud in to other students is encouraged. We will be
working hard to create an atmosphere that feels comfortable to do so. You are
also encouraged to post your work on Blackboard so that other students can take
a second look and experience the piece by reading it. If for some reason, for some
sessions or assignments you would prefer to only post the work on Blackboard
and not read it out loud, you may do so. If for some assignments you would
rather email the piece to me privately, you may do so. If for some assignments,
you would prefer not to share it at all, you may do so. Some writing is private
and some is meant for others. I would like for you to explore this range. You may
write something private that you later rewrite to be presented. Or, the other way
around. Y ou are writing two papers that will be graded this session and they are
expected to be turned in on time. Papers more than a day late will not be
accepted.

Students are required to have the books with them for discussion. I have ordered
them through the school bookstore, and they often offer reduced price, used
copies. However, if you wish to search out even more inexpensive copies, feel
free to purchase the books over the internet or elsewhere. Also consider
borrowing the book from Loyola’s library or the Public libraries. If they don’t
have the book, they can generally get it through inter-library loan but you should
inquire about books early on in order to make sure that they arrive by the time
you need to read the assigned work.

Students will be graded on attendance, participation in discussion and activities,

and the two papers:

Attendance: 20%
Participation: 25%
Short essay (1 page single-spaced): 25%
Final Paper (3-5 pages): 30%
Readings:

Shakespeare
Bervin
Yeats
H.D.
Brooks
Fieled
Essays (to be made available on Blackboard either as a PDF in the Course Documents
section or as aURL in the External Links section)
Online Literature and Reviews (URLs to be made available on Blackboard)

COURSE SCHEDULE (subject to change):

Week One: Some Other Century Traditions ofpoetry: sound, language and the inexpressible

Monday, May 19: Introductions: syllabus, writing activities, Rumi

Tuesday, May 20: Reading: Shakespeare

Wednesday, May 21: Reading: Shakespeare

Thursday, May 22: Writing: Tell it like it was: Memory, story and lyric (La Jetee)

Week Two: reinterpreting the past through innovative forms

Monday, May 26: NO CLASS (Memorial Day)
Tuesday, May 29: Nets (Choral reading)

Wednesday, May 30: Nets

Thursday, May 31: Experiments (Five Obstructions)

th
Week Three: Moving Toward the Modern ? The 20 century: lyric and new rhythms

Monday, June 4: Yeats (prompt/discussion/activity)

Tuesday, June 5: Yeats/H.D. (experiments)

Wednesday, June 6: H.D. (writing about)
Thursday, June 7: Writing: Tell it like it is: Active Writing
(Reading: Debord, Theory of the Derive)
Week Four: How Does This Sound?

Monday, June 9: Brooks

Tuesday, June 10: Brooks

Wednesday, June 11: Listening to Poetry (Bergvall, Howe, Brathwaite, Dub, Hip Hop
and more)

Thursday, June 12: Writing: Listening to each other (question and answer exercise)

Week Five: Ultramodern Metaphor

Monday, June 16: Opera Bufa

Tuesday, June 17: Opera Bufa

Wednesday, June with Blood of the Poet) then: Online: Web Poetry: Diagram,
18: (Start
Dreamlife of Letters, Jew’s Daughter, selections from Literary e-zines

Thursday, June 19: In-class Poetry Reading: Adam Fieled, Heidi Mckye

Week Six: Of and About Poetry

Monday, June 23: Paper workshop
Reading: Reviews (CutBank, Moria)
Activity: Steps, Fonnulation of approach and argument

Tuesday, June 24: Poem Review for class reading

Wednesday, June 25: Rough Draft of Final Paper due, Class Reading

Thursday, June 26: Final Paper due

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