Course: ENGL 2240Division: Humanities
Department: English & Philosophy
Title: Introduction to Poetry
Semester Approved: Spring 2021
Five-Year Review Semester: Fall 2025
End Semester: Fall 2026
Catalog Description: This course provides a critical approach to poetry's forms and developments, including historical trends and modern movements. Emphasis is on recognizing poetic devices and understanding, and responding to poetry in all its forms.
General Education Requirements: Humanities (HU)
Semesters Offered: TBA
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0
Justification: An ability to read poetry well is central to understanding and experiencing the world's literature. This course teaches students to read flexibly, analytically, and imaginatively; to perceive aesthetically; and to critically assess written texts. In addition, the course helps students to apply aesthetic understanding to life experiences as well as understand and value their own language and culture while deepening their connections to other diverse populations and cultures. This course devotes an entire semester to reading, studying, and understanding poetry and also provides variety in the available options Snow College students have in literary studies. The course fulfills a General Education requirement in Humanities. The Humanities are a group of academic disciplines that study the many ways by which humans have attempted to understand themselves and their world. At Snow College, the Humanities focus on cultural traditions that are expressed largely through text or which have a strong textual component: languages, literature, and philosophy. The methods by which the Humanities study culture are at once analytical and interpretive, objective and subjective, historical and aesthetic.
General Education Outcomes:
1: A student who completes the GE curriculum has a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world. Students will contribute to their fundamental knowledge of the humanities by reading a wide selction of poetry and use class discussion and writing to explore the ways poetry represents cultural knowledge and individual experience within the context of both cultural experience and the natural world. Students will demonstrate their consideration of readings and their interpretations of the texts in written essays, reading journals, examinations, projects, and class discussion.
2: A student who completes the GE curriculum can read and research effectively within disciplines. Students will read a variety of poetry both contemporary and historical and will use these readings as a basis for analysis. Students will demonstrate their reading skills through reading journals, class discussion, quizzes/exams, and semester projects or essays.
3: A student who completes the GE curriculum can draw from multiple disciplines to address complex problems. The study of poetry is inherently interdisciplinary. Poetry as a continuously evolving art form uses multi-modal approaches to create meaning in conjunction with language. Students use knowledge of sound, rhythm, visual imagery, oral history and presentation, and visual art to analyze both contemporary and historical examples of poetry. They use general knowledge of sociology, history, and issues involving diverse populations to understand the creation and dissemination of poetry. They will demonstrate this learning through reading journals, class discussions, quizzes/exams, and semester projects or essays.
4: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason analytically, critically, and creatively. Students will be able to read, interpret, analyze, and respond to poetry. They will use reading strategies to understand the use of literary devices to create meaning through poetry. They will use analysis to understand and recognize creative and artistic merit. They will demonstrate this learning through reading journals, class discussions, quizzes/exams, and semester projects or essays.
5: A student who completes the GE curriculum can communicate effectively through writing and speaking. Students will be able to write and speak interpretively and analytically about poetry. They will present information through both oral and written communication using reading journals, class discussion, writing and revision of essays that require peer review, and presenting individual and/or group projects to the class.
General Education Knowledge Area Outcomes:
1: Students will read and discuss a variety of poetry both contemporary and historical to examine human experience and literary movements. They will likewise examine poetry from different cultural and artistic perspectives in order to develop an appreciation for the complexity of philosophical thought and experience. They will demonstrate this learning through reading journals, class discussions, quizzes/exams, and semester projects or essays. Students will read and discuss a variety of poetry both contemporary and historical to examine human experience and literary movements. They will likewise examine poetry from different cultural and artistic perspectives in order to develop an appreciation for the complexity of philosophical thought and experience. They will demonstrate this learning through reading journals, class discussions, quizzes/exams, and semester projects or essays.
2: Understand how knowledge is created through the study of language systems, literature, and/or philosophy. Students will read and listen to poetry to develop an appreciation for both oral and written poetic expression. They will examine their own experience and compare it with poetic themes from other cultural and historical persepectives in order to examine the creation of knowledge and philosophical thought through literary expression. They will demonstrate this knowledge through reading journals, class discussion, and unique artistic creations.
3: Understand cultural traditions within an historical context and make connections with the present. Students will understand that poetry began as an oral form of storytelling and song. They will recognize that the evolution of poetry from an oral tradition to a written artistic form follows historical trends related to poetic performance and presentation. They will see how contemporary poetry has combined both historical forms and modern technology to create new methods of presentation. They will demonstrate this learning through reading journals, class discussions, quizzes/exams, and semester projects or essays.
4: Critically read and respond to primary texts (original, uninterpreted) from a Humanities’ perspective. Students will read a variety of poetry as the basis of analysis. They will demonstrate this learning through reading journals, class discussions, quizzes/exams, and semester projects or essays.
5: Write effectively within the Humanities discipline to analyze and form critical and aesthetic judgments. Students will read a variety of poetry from different cultural and historical perspectives. They will compare different poetic forms and structures and use these readings to analyze and form critical and aesthetic judgements. They will demonstrate this learning through reading journals, class discussions, quizzes/exams, and a semester project that will require them to explore and exhibit those judgments through writing and/or presentation.
Through lecture and class discussion, ENGL 2240 covers methods of reading poetry that include the following approaches (some variation of this list will occur depending on instructor preference):• Comprehending tone• Understanding the speaker in the poem• Understanding the voice in relation to the speaker• Understanding the purpose of setting in the poem• Understanding the situation presented in a poem• Understanding connotation and denotation in language• Reading to identify figurative language• Reading to identify symbolic content• Reading to respond to sound devices• Reading to become aware of internal structure• Reading to become aware of poetic form• Reading to respond to poetic parody• Reading to evaluate the artistic merit of poetry.Instructors will ensure that course readings reflect the college's emphasis on diversity by engaging with a variety of poetic forms, voices, traditions, and authors of diverse and conventionally underrepresented backgrounds.
Key Performance Indicators:
Quizzes, class participation/discussion, and/or reading journals 10 to 25%
Examinations 25 to 30%
Critical essays and creative work 25 to 30%
Oral presentations and final project 20 to 25%
Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Hunter, J. Paul. The Norton Introduction to Poetry. New York: W.W. Norton, current edition.
There are a range of pedagogical concerns for the class. Course content will be delivered through short lectures, class discussions, and writing assignments to ensure an engaged and interactive classroom. Reading accountability should be established through reading assignments, quizzes, reading journals, discussion boards, etc.The course should also build a signature assignment that will allow students to demonstrate their learning related to the HU GE outcomes. Exams can have some focus on recall and content but should also be opportunities for critical thinking and synthesis of concepts across literary texts.Instructional strategies will invite, include, and engage with diverse perspectives and voices, both among assigned readings, as well as among students in the class. Furthermore, students are prepped to engage with the material, their first encounter with the literature occurs outside of the classroom, and class time employs differentiated and inclusive learning techniques, including discussion in varying formats, freewriting and pairing, group discussion, class discussion, group feedback on writing. The professor functions as a guide, asking students to engage with the literature and historical moments as they move from initial impressions to informed analysis, close reading, interpretation, and critical thinking.
Maximum Class Size: 30
Optimum Class Size: 20