spContent=细读英诗名篇,了解诗歌要素,挖掘文学主题; 分析诗话形式,揭示诗史脉络,催生诗化审美; 体验英诗魅力,培养文学兴趣, 增强外语意识; 拓展文化视野,陶冶诗化情操,提高人文素质。
—— 课程团队

Course Description:

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






Week 1 Poetry Delights and Instructs

Poetry Reading-aloud Exercise One

Lecture 1: Poetry Delights and Instructs

Lecture 2: Poetry Communicates Experience

Lecture 3: Poetry Says Much in Little

Lecture 4: A Course Description with a Syllabus

Lecture 5: Why Do We Read All These Masterpieces?

Textbook & Reference Books


Week 2 William Shakespeare: “Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day”

Poetry Reading-aloud Exercise Two

Lecture 1: Reading Aloud of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18

Lecture 2: Sonnet 18: An Explanation

Lecture 3: Devices and Techniques

Lecture 4: Immortality through Literature

Lecture 5: Structure of English Sonnets

Lecture 6: Why Should We Read Shakespeare?

Week 3 John Milton: “Doth God Exact Day-labor, Light Denied?”

Poetry Reading-aloud Exercise Three

Lecture 1: Reading Aloud of Milton’s Poems

Lecture 2: John Milton’s Life and Works

Lecture 3: Miltonic Sonnet

Lecture 4: Milton’s Sonnet 19

Lecture 5: Commentary on Milton’s Sonnet 19

Lecture 6: Invocation of Paradise Lost


Week 4 John Donne: “But We By a Love So Much Refined”

Poetry Reading-aloud Exercise Four

Lecture 1: Reading Aloud of Donne’s “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”

Lecture 2: Life of John Donne

Lecture 3: Metaphysical Poetry

Lecture 4: Donne’s “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”

Lecture 5: Themes: Death, Love, Faith, and Science

Lecture 6: Assignments

Week 5 William Wordsworth: “Emotion Recollected in Tranquility”

Poetry Reading-aloud Exercise Five

Lecture 1: Reading Aloud of Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”

Lecture 2: Life of William Wordsworth

Lecture 3: Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1800)

Lecture 4: Wordsworth’s Definition of Poetry

Lecture 5: Characteristics of Romanticism

Lecture 6: “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”

Lecture 7: Assignments

Week 6 John Keats: “Much Have I Traveled in the Realms of Gold”

Poetry Reading-aloud Exercise Six

Lecture 1: Reading Aloud of Keats’s “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”

Lecture 2: Life of John Keats

Lecture 3: “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”

Lecture 4: “Negative Capability”

Lecture 5: “Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty”

Lecture 6: Assignments

Week 7 Walt Whitman: “I Celebrate Myself”

Poetry Reading-aloud Exercise Seven

Lecture 1: Reading Aloud of Walt Whitman’s Poems

Lecture 2: “I am Large, I Contain Multitudes”

Lecture 3: “Walt Whitman, An American”

Lecture 4: “One’s Self I Sing”

Lecture 5: “I Celebrate Myself”

Lecture 6: Assignments

Week 8 Emily Dickinson: “I’m Nobody, Who are You?”

Poetry Reading-aloud Exercise Eight

Lecture 1: Reading Aloud of Emily Dickinson’s Poems

Lecture 2: “The Mother of Modern American Poetry”

Lecture 3: Life of Emily Dickinson

Lecture 4: “I’m Nobody, Who Are You?”

Lecture 5: “The Soul Selects Her Own Society”

Lecture 6: “This Is My Letter to the World”

Lecture 7: “I Heard a Fly Buzz-When I Died”

Lecture 8: “Tell All the Truth Bu Tell It Slant-”


Week 9 Robert Frost: “A Road Less Traveled By”

Poetry Reading-aloud Exercise Nine

Lecture 1: Reading Aloud of Robert Frost’s Poems

Lecture 2: Life of Robert Frost

Lecture 3: “The Sound of Sense”

Lecture 4: “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Lecture 5: “The Road Not Taken”

Lecture 6: “Mowing”

Lecture 7: “Mending Wall”








     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.



Reference Books/参考书:

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. 6th 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 FrostBeijing: Peking University Press, 2000.