The purpose of this course is to enable students to read various kinds of English poetry with understanding and appreciation. The course is not primarily historical, though poems from the 16th into the 20th century will be sampled. We shall do a lot of close readings of poetry in the lectures with emphasis on both the poetic language and poetic forms. Representative British and American poets like William Shakespeare, John Milton, John Donne, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost will be focused respectively in each lecture. Such poetic forms as lyric, epic, and dramatic poetry will be discussed, while such poetic elements as rhythm and meter, figurative language, stanzaic forms will be carefully explored in poetry analysis in the lectures. Students are encouraged to practice reading aloud or even to learn by heart all the poems discussed in the course.
Poetry may be difficult, but it can also be intensely rewarding. The pleasure of reading poetry derives from the beauty of the language—the delight of the sounds and the images—as well as the power of the emotion and the depth of the insight of the poems. Poems are written to bring us a sense of life, while widening and sharpening our contact with human existence. Poets create significant new experiences for the reader, producing a greater awareness and understanding of the world. Poetry broadens our experience by acquainting us with a wide range of experiences we don’t often have in our ordinary life. It also deepens our experience by making us feel more intensely and with better understanding of our everyday experiences. Poetry, therefore,delights and instructs at the same time
Designed to meet the demands of general education in English among colleges and universities around the world, this course can be taken both as an elective course for English majors and non-English majors. It can also be regarded as an elective for graduate students whose research fields are not British and American literature.
◆ Grading and Certificate Requirements: 60-84 Pass; 85-100 Excellence:
1) Quiz: 60% (10 multiple-choice questions for each week, 90 questions in all);
2) On-line Discussion: 10% (3 or 4 questions/topics for each week);
3) Final Examination: 30% (30 multiple-choice questions from all lectures).
Zongying, Huang. Ed. Selected Readings in British and American Poetry. 2nd. Ed. Beijing:
Higher Education Press, 2014.
Abrams, M. H. General Ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature.Vol.2. New York &
London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1986.
Fussell, Paul. Poetic Meter and Poetic Form.New York: Random House, 1979.
Perrine, Laurence. Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry. 6 ed. New York:
Preminger, Alex and T. V. F. Brogan. Eds. The New PrincetonEncyclopedia of Poetry and
Poetics. Princeton: Princeton UniversityPress, 1993.
Zongying, Huang. A Road Less Traveled By—On the Deceptive Simplicity in the Poetry of Robert Frost. Beijing: Peking University Press, 2000.