English 207: Studies in Poetry

Dr. Morillo

Spring 2013
Tompkins G115.  M, W  3:00-4:15
Section 003
Web syllabus: http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/users/m/morillo/public/20713.html

Dr. Morillo's Office is Tompkins 270;     email = morillo@ncsu.edu   homepage=http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/users/m/morillo/public/index.htm
Office Hours=  M W 10-11:30; T 10:30-12 and by appointment

GEP Information: Fulfills 3 hrs. Humanities-Literature GEP. This course will help you to:
  1. understand and engage in the human experience through the interpretation of literature
  2. become aware of the act of interpretation itself as a critical form of knowing in the study of literature; and
  3. make scholarly arguments about literature using reasons and ways of supporting those reasons that are appropriate to the field of study.
Course Description:

Current American poet Billy Collins claims that poems can inspire us and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race. Countless other poets have agreed with him that  poetry paints a uniquely valuable picture of how and why we think and feel.  Whether as old as Homer’s dactylic hexameter or as recent as Mos Def’s fluent freestyle rap, the pleasure of word play, like all good play, is a vital part of any education. No matter what your interests or major, learning how to read a poem can hone the precision of your thinking, the economy and grace of your expression, and the expansiveness of your thought.

To learn to appreciate and analyze poetry, we will study its formal elements, the tools in every poet’s tool kit: rhyme and meter, lineation,
tone, voice, figurative language, and and other elements of prosody. We will practice interpreting the heady blend of wit and judgment in works by wide range of English-speaking poets, including Frost,  Keats, Coleridge, Yeats, Donne, Herrick, Hopkins, Bishop, Whitman, Collins, and by current NC State English Professor-poets and MFA poetry students.  While not primarily a creative writing class, the course will provide some opportunity to write some poetry of your own. This course introduces you to British and American poetry in several genres and many periods from the past 500 years. We will be reading texts chosen from the Renaissance to contemporary periods and representing a variety of kinds and styles, often focused on  topics of persistent interest to poets, including love, art, death, and faith.

Course Objectives
By studying how poets see, think, and write about the world, you will be learning how to improve your thinking, reading, speaking and writing skills. The majority of the written work will be papers, some analytic and argumentative, others creative. There will be a midterm and comprehensive final.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students should be able to:

Your improved ability to exercise skills in bullets 1-3 above will be measured against how well you can initially exercise these skills when you first join the class. To help measure that baseline ability, you will all first have to write a paper interpreting a short poem. This paper will help me determine your entering ability as writer and a thinker. Subsequent letter-graded papers and two exams will allow me to assess how well you have improved in knowledge of interpreting poetry.

Course Requirements
1. Attendance =  see policy below
2. Participation in discussions, quizzes, in-class writing, shorter assignments =  graded 10%
3. Paper 1 baseline: -pass/fail  10%   
4. Paper 2  write a sonnet & 1-page reflection on it graded 10% (5% poem., 5% reflection)
5. Midterm examination = graded 20%
6. oral recitation of poem = graded 5% 
7. selection and submission of text of recited poem = pass/fail 10%
8.  creative project = graded 10%
9. Final examination = graded 25 %

total =                      100%

How I Figure Your Grades
Percentages for each required graded category are figured via a percentage of a 12-pt. scale in which an A+ =12 and
an F=0 points. For example, a B+ on paper 1 would net you 9 x .10 or .9 points.  Or, a C on participation nets you 5 x .10 or .5, an A on the final nets you 11 x .25 or 2.75 points.
I then add up the percentage points for each required category to determine your grade from 0 to 12.  For example, an 8.2 final score = B for the class.

Participation includes your grades on periodic quizzes, and coming to class prepared, having done the readings and being able to talk and write about them intelligently.

You must complete all the required work to pass the class. No opting out of assigned work.  I will grade plus/minus.

Attendance: You are allowed 3 absences. If you are absent, unexcused, more than 3 times over the course of the semester, your absences will count progressively against your final grade,  Every 2 absences beyond the allowed 3 loses you a half letter grade from your final grade.

Instructor's policies on attendance, (excused and unexcused) absences, and scheduling makeup work. Also see the university Attendance Regulation (REG02.20.03)  to access university definitions of excused absences.

Plagiarism: Anyone convicted will receive an F for the paper, or the course at my discretion. And yes, I have caught people in the past--in this course, in fact.

Late Papers: Papers received ONE class session late will be accepted but docked a full grade. No late papers accepted after one class session late.


"Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 515-7653. For more information on NC State's policy on working with students with disabilities, please see the Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Regulation (REG02.20.01)"

Academic Integrity Assumption
Universities are unique communities committed to creating and transmitting knowledge. They depend on freedom - individuals' freedom to explore ideas and to explore and further their own capabilities. Those freedoms depend on the good will and responsible behavior of all the members of the community, who must treat each other with tolerance and respect. They must allow each other to develop the full range of their capabilities and take full advantage of the institution's resources.

1 Honor Pledge: 
"I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this test or assignment." The syllabus may specify that the Honor Pledge be signed on each test or assignment or that it is the understanding and expectation of faculty that the student's signature on any test or assignment means that the student neither gave nor received unauthorized aid.

Required Print Text
s--available now in the NCSU bookstore.

1.   Kelly, Joseph., ed. The Seagull Reader: Poems. 2nd ed.
       New York: W. W. Norton, 2001.    $21.15
     All readings from this Norton Anthology are indicated by page numbers in parentheses, after poem's title.

   Lennard, John. The Poetry Handbook: A Guide to Reading Poetry for Pleasure and Practical Criticism.
          2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996.    $18.95

 Required Online Texts
1.    How to Use the Oxford English Dictionary Online (Morillo)

2.   Guide to Prosody (Morillo)

SYLLABUS  page numbers in parentheses are for the Seagull Reader

M 1-7
Assignment due 1-9: Book and Syllabus Quiz 
: musical metaphorsselected metaphors and similes,
W 1-9
Read for today
Collins Introduction to Poetry
Approaching Poetry

from Pope Essay on Man ; In Seagull: Whitman A Noiseless Patient Spider; Frost Design;

Plath Metaphors

Assignment due 1-14: write 2 metaphors, and 2 similes

M  1-14
metaphor and simile continued; discuss Metaphors

  Poet's Tool Kit: Sound and Rhyme

Robert Frost reads his Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (audio)
Read:: Guide to Prosody (Morillo)
Seagull Reader: (pages of poems in parentheses)

resounding poems: Carroll Jabberwocky ( 61); Coleridge Kubla Khan ( 71); Hopkins God's Grandeur (161); Kinnell, Blackberry Eating ( 189).
Some rhyme types:
monorhyme:         Hardy, The Convergence of the Twain (141
rhymed couplets:  Browning, My Last Duchess ( 48); MacLeish Ars Poetica (215)
alternate rhyme:     Robinson Richard Cory (265); Hardy Hap (140); alternate rhyme:
masculine end rhyme:  Hardy Hap;
feminine end rhyme:         Auden In Memory of W. B. Yeats [stanza 1 audio] (22)
internal rhyme & slant rhyme:  Komunyakaa Facing It (193)

rhyme styles in rap lyrics (audio)

Assignment due: write 2 metaphors, 2 similes of your own. Printed out, handed in start of class.
W 1-16
Poet's Tool Kit: the beat of poetry; rhythm and meter

Read for today:

[Iambic Tetrameter] Marlowe The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (139); Herrick Upon Julia's Clothes (219); Jonson On My First Daughter ( 178)
  [Trochaic Tetrameter:]: Housman Terrence. this is stupid stuff (169)
[Alternate Trochaic & Iambic Tetrameter] Housman Shot? so quick, so clean an ending? ( 168 )
  [Ballad or "Common' Meter (alternate trochaic tetrameter & trimeter)] Jonson Song to Celia (177); Wordsworth The Tables Turned (340)
[Iambic pentameter (heroic) couplets] Browning My Last Duchess (48); Pope 
[Blank Verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter)] Wodsworth Nutting (349); Tennyson Ulysses (305); Frost Home Burial (119)

MC Lars Teaches Prosody
M 1-21
KING DAY                
W 1-23
Paper 1 Due: Interpret Poem 

Scanning poetry Poe The Raven; Frost Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
M 1-28

Poet's Tool Kit: controlling the pace with Lineation and Punctuation:--lineation, end-stopping, enjambment, caesurae, punctuation, forced pauses and stops

Read for today: Whitman Learned Astronomer ; Ginsberg A Supermarket in California (audio)
Dickinson I Heard a Fly Buzz; Frost After Apple-Picking (audio)

W 1-30

Poet's Tool Kit: Forms

The Resilient Sonnet
Petrarach and Petrarchans
Petrarch"Sonnet 140" (click here for Petrarch poem);

Wyatt, Sir Thomas "The Long Love That in My Thought Doth Harbor"         Wyatt's sonnet read aloud;

Surrey (Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey_) "Love, That Doth Reign and Live Within My Thought"

M  2-4 

More Early Sonnets
 Read for today: Shakespeare Sonnet 29, 130 (276, 278) ; Donne Holy Sonnet 14 ; Milton When I Consider How My Light is Spent


W 2-6

 18th- and 19th-Century Sonnets
Charlotte Smith: Sonnet XLIV; Shelley Ozymandias Ozymandias ( 280); Keats When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be (117) Browning Sonnet 43 (32)

M 2-11
20th-Century Sonnets
Yeats Leda and the Swan ( 370);  Millay What My Lips Have Kissed ; Collins Sonnet

 W 2-13  <>Complex Poetic Forms: Read for today:

Terza Rima: Shelley Ode to the West Wind (280/171)
Villanelle: Thomas Do Not Go Gentle  into That Good Night (190); Bishop One Art (33/ 22)
Sestina:  Bishop Sestina ( 32/21)
Rime Royal: Crook, Rooster in Rime Royal

Pantoum:  John Ashbery "Pantoum"

Lisk  Poems of Dr. Tom Lisk

M  2-18

Free Verse
Whitman A Noiseless Patient Spider (333/190); excerpts from America (audio)
; Moore Poetry (226/145); Olds Sex Without Love (231/147); Williams The Red Wheelbarrow (audio)(338/195); Ginsberg A Supermarket in California

Paper 2 due: you will write a sonnet

W 2-20

Current free verse poetry in Free Verse, a Journal of Contemporary Poetry

M  2-25

review for midterm

W 2-27

Midterm:  Poetics and Prosody Test = Part I 20 questions @ 4pts/each, allot 20-25 minutes; Part II 1 sonnet to interpret @ 20 pts, allot 20-25 minutes   BE SURE TO ARRIVE ON TIME.  Closed book & notebook

M 3-4

spring break no class

W  3-6

spring break no class

M 3-11

Shared Subjects--Poems about Poetry  MacLeish Ars Poetica ( 138); Moore Poetry (145); Collins Introduction to Poetry  Heany Digging (94) Hughes Theme for English B (112)

W 3-13 

Shared Subjects--The Myth of Icarus:   Brueghel paintings of Fall of Icarus and Massacre of the Innocents  Auden Musee des Beaux Arts (14); Rukeyser Waiting for Icarus (audio)    

M  3-18

Oral/Written Assignment due:  recitation and submission of found poem with one page explaining choices

Group One Poems

W 3-20   

Oral/Written Assignment due:   recitation and submission of  found poem with one page explaining choices

Group Two Poems

Charles Bernstein "In Particular"

Spoken Word Poets:

B.Yung: "I Am a Queen"      Devin "Tourettes"       Common, Live at the White House

M 3-25    
Poems on Love: Herrick Upon Julia's Clothes (99); Hayden Those Winter Sundays (93);  Millay What My Lips Have Kissed (142);  Olds Sex Without Love (147)
Eliot The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock   e-copy
W 3-27

EASTER break

work on creative projects

M 4-1  

Poems on Death 1: Women on death; Dickinson Because I Could Not Stop for Death ; I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died; Smith Ode to Death 
Brooks The Mother
2: Men on death: Frost Home Burial Gray Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard ; Thomas Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night  ECOPY

W 4-3   
Death in War: Owen Dulce et Decorum Est (149);  Jarrell The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner (113); Komunyaaka Facing It (126)
Death in a Modern Mode
  (29) Larkin Aubade (130);
Collins Picnic, Lightining (40) cummings Buffalo Bill's (44)
Dead Animals Kumin Woodchucks  Stafford  Stafford Traveling Through the Dark (audio) (293)

M 4-8 1
Sacred Subjects & Poems on Faith  Blake The Tyger (25); Arnold Dover Beach (12); Wordsworth The World is Too Much With Us (200); Hopkins God's Grandeur (99);  Hardy Hap (88);  Erdrich Captivity (66)


W 4-10
Professor Away no class: Out of class writing assignment: in 2 pages write as complete an interpretation of Louise Erdrich's poem "Captivity" as you can. Try to have something to say about whatever aspects of the poem's form you find most significant. Try not to merely summarize what happens in the poem. Due, printed out, start of class Monday.
M 4-15

Outside Anglo-American Lines: Latino and Latina poets

W 4-17 


Poems of Dr. Jason Miller

Poems of Dr. Jon Thompson

Poems of Dr. John Balaban

Poems by Dorianne Laux   "Deomocracy"   "Dust"  "Family Stories"

Jaon Miller reading at NC Contemporary Art Museum

M 4-22
LAST week creative projects due
W 4-24

creative projects/review

W 5-8

Please fill out a course evalution online: http://ClassEval.ncsu.edu




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