English 207Q: Studies in Poetry , Freshman Inquiry Section                                                   

Fall 2006

Tompkins G118.  M, W, F 11:20 - 12:10
Section 002
Dr. Morillo

Web syllabus: http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/users/m/morillo/public/207Q06.html

Dr. Morillo's Office is Tompkins 270;     email = morillo@unity.ncsu.edu   homepage=http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/users/m/morillo/public/index.htm
Office Hours=  M 2-4:30; W 2-4:30; F 2-4, and by appointment


GER Information: Fulfills 3 hrs. Humanities-Literature GER. 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:

What can reading poetry teach us about the relationship between creativity and critical thinking? Between writing and living? What is a poem? What is a good poem? Have those answers changed?

From Greece and Aristotle’s belief that our ability to create and understand metaphor is the true test of genius, to England and Shelley’s that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, to America and former poet laureate Billy Collins' claim that poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race, poetry paints a unique picture of how and why we think, and what we ought to think about.  Whether as old as Homer’s dactylic hexameter or as recent as Mos Def’s fluent freestyle raps, 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 opportunities 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.

We will read at least 50 poems. As a Freshman Inquiry class, the course will also examine the relationship between reading poetry and honing some aspects of college-level critical thinking and writing, including precision, flexibility, creativity, skepticism about one's own ideas and tolerance for those of others.

Course Objectives
By studying how poets see, think, and write about the world, you will be learning how to improve your own critical critical thinking, reading, speaking and writing skills.  As an Inquiry class, this special freshmen-only section will emphasize the kinds of open-ended, challenging questions requiring significant independent effort, imaginative spirit, and active participation on you part.  In keeping with the Freshman Inquiry ideals, you will learn to move from learning facts to making critically reasoned judgments and evaluations backed with appropriate evidence. 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 a written final will allow me to assess how well you have improved in knowledge of poetry and of critical thinking.

Course Requirements

Grading: 
1. Attendance = 10%.
2. Participation in discussions, quizzes, in-class writing =10%
3. Short Papers =  4 critical, 2 creative  = 50% distributed as follows:
4. Midterm examination = 10%
6. Final examination = 15%
________________________________

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 12 x .15 or 1.8 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, as a significant part --10%--of your final grade. Every 2 absences beyond the allowed 3 loses you a half letter grade. Anyone who misses the first two classes can be immediately dropped from the class. For the definition of an unexcused absence, see http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/academic_affairs/pols_regs/REG205.00.4.php

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.

Disabilities: 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. http://www.ncsu.edu/dss/

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.

Required Print Texts--available now in the NCSU bookstore.

1.   Kelly, Joseph., ed. The Seagull Reader: Poems
       New York: W. W. Norton, 2001.    $19.20
     All readings from this Norton Anthology are indicated by page numbers in parentheses, after poem's title.

2.   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

W 8-23 
Introduction: Critical Thinking and Poetry. Bloom's Taxonomy and Eller & Paul's "Universal Intellectual Standards"
Assignment due 8-25: Book and Syllabus Quiz 
Readings
: musical metaphorsselected metaphors and similes, ( on web site)
F  8-25 
discussion of metaphors and similes
Readings: Plath Metaphors (151)  Poetry Handbook ch. 1 Metre, Guide to Prosody

M  8-28
metaphor and simile continued; discuss Metaphors
Readings: 

Auden Musee des Beaux Arts (14) and Memory of W B Yeats (15); Bishop The Fish (18) Frost After Apple-Picking (74); Ginsberg A Supermarket in California (82); Plath Daddy (152); Stafford Traveling through the Dark (176); Williams The Red Wheelbarrow (195); Thomas Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night (190); Yeats The Lake Isle of Innisfree;  Eliot (if time) The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock (59)

Assignment due 8-30: write 3 metaphors, 2 similes of your own; think about what Plath's poem Metaphor has to do with the idea of metaphor
W 8-30
Listening to Poets Reading (see 8-28 Auden to Eliot) Biographies of Poets in Seagull Reader 209-235
Paper 1 Assignment (due 9-8)
F  9-1
Metaphors and metaphor: discussion, your metaphors, Plath's poem
Readings: Poetry Handbook ch. 6, Rhyme
M 9-4
Labor Day. No Class
W 9-6    

Resounding Words  Carroll Jabberwocky ( 37); Coleridge Kubla Khan ( 38); Hopkins God's Grandeur ( 99); Kinnell, Blackberry Eating ( 125).

F 9-8

Paper 1 Due
Some Rhyme Schemes
 
monorhyme: Hardy, The Convergence of the Twain (89)
rhymed couplets: Browning, My Last Duchess ( 33); MacLeish Ars Poetica (138)
alternate rhyme: Robinson Richard Cory (163); Hardy Hap (88);
masculine end rhyme: Hardy Hap;
feminine end rhyme: Auden In Memory of W. B. Yeats [s1] (15)
internal rhyme: Komunyakaa Facing It (126)
Readings: Poetry Handbook ch. 2, Form

M  9-11 
Critical Thinking in Expository Writing
W 9-13  

Understanding Meters
Iambic Tetrameter: Marlowe The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (139); Herrick Upon Julia's Clothes (99); Jonson On My First Daughter ( 115)
Trochaic Tetrameter: Housman Terrence. this is stupid stuff (107)
Alternate Trochaic & Iambic Tetrameter: Housman Shot? so quick, so clean an ending? ( 106)
Ballad or "Common' Meter (alternate trochaic tetrameter & trimeter): Jonson Song to Celia (114); Wordsworth The Tables Turned (196)
Iambic pentameter (heroic) couplets: Browning My Last Duchess (33)
Blank Verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter): Wodsworth Nutting (198); Tennyson Ulysses (184); Frost Home Burial (69)
Assignment, due 9-15: Scan Heany's Digging (94) --see also Poetry Handbook (9)

F  9-15
Scansion of Digging due
Scansion workshop
. Collaborative teams compare results
 M 9-18 

Complex Forms:
Trochaic Octameter: Poe The Raven (155)
Terza Rima: Shelley Ode to the West Wind (171)
Villanelle: Thomas Do Not Go Gentle  into That Good Night (190); Bishop One Art ( 22)
Sestina:  Bishop Sestina ( 21)
Readings: All sonnets listed below for 9-20 through 9-25

W  9-20

Centuries of Sonnets
Shakespeare Sonnet 29, 130 (168-9); Donne Holy Sonnet 14 (57); Milton When I Consider How My Light is Spent (144)

F  9-22 

Browning Sonnet 43 (32); Shelley Ozymandias ( 170); Keats When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be (117)

M  9-25

Yeats Leda and the Swan ( 206); Millay What My Lips Have Kissed (14); Frost Design (81); Collins Sonnet (43)
Papers 2 & 3 Assignments, due 10-11: write an interpretation of Frost's Design; write your own sonnet

W 9-27

Free Verse

Whitman A Noiseless Patient Spider (190); Moore Poetry (145); Olds Sex Without Love (147); Williams The Red Wheelbarrow (195); Stafford Traveling Through the Dark ( 176)
Readings: Poetry Handbook (14-17)
F  9-29

Prosody Practice: Application & Evaluation  (9-29 to 10-6)  Meter Quiz    Scansion Practice  

Poetry Handbook chap 1 Metre:  Comprehension & Applications:; Donne The Flea  Scansion & Prosody Page

M  10-2


Poetry Handbook chap 2 Form, 6 Rhyme. Dickinson I Heard Fly Buzz When I Died; ; Hardy Convergence of the Twain  Bishop Sestina  Form Quiz

W 10-4

Poetry Handbook chap 4 Punctuation: Dickinson Fly Buzz; Frost After Apple-Picking

F 10-6 

Poetry Handbook chap 5 Lineation. Bishop Sestina; Whitman Learned Astronomer; Ginsberg A Supermarket in California; cummings Buffalo Bill's

M 10-9   3   

Poetry Handbook chaps 8, 7 Syntax & Diction. Comprehension & Applications: Donne Flea; Gray Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

W 10-11   
Papers 2 and 3 due
Midterm Exam in class
 

F 10-13    
no class, fall break
M 10-16

Shared Subjects--Representing Spiders: from Pope Essay on Man ; Whitman A Noiseless Patient Spider (190); Frost Design (81)
Paper 4 assignment (due 10-23): Critique of Peer Sonnet
Assignment (Due 11-6): Find a Poem to Present Orally

W 10-18  

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

F 10-20    
Shared Subjects--Poetry
  MacLeish Ars Poetica ( 138); Moore Poetry (145); Collins Introduction to Poetry  Heany Digging (94) Hughes Theme for English B (112)

M 10-23 
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)
Paper 4, Peer Critiques of Sonnet Due
Paper 5 Assignment (due 11-3 as draft, 12-11 revised
W 10-25   your sonnets, available here online:  Sonnet
F  10-27 

On Death Collins Picnic, Lightining (40) cummings Buffalo Bill's (44); Dickinson Because I Could Not Stop for Death (48); Frost Home Burial (69); Jarrell The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner (113); Komunyaaka Facing It (126); Owen Dulce et Decorum Est (149);  Kumin Woodchucks (128); Brooks The Mother (29) Larkin Aubade (130); Stafford Traveling Through the Dark (176);  Gray Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (83)

M 10-30 
poems on death continued
W 11-1  
poems on death continued
F 11-3


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)

M 11-6 poems on faith continued
Paper 5 due as draft
Paper 6 Assignment (due as draft 11-20): Write a Poem
W 11-8  
Students' Oral Presentations of Poems (11-8 to 11-20)
students 1-4
F 11-10
students 5-8

M 11-13
students 9-12
W 11-15   
students 13-16
F 11-17
students 17-20
M 11-20
Paper 6, draft of your poem due
spoken word

W 11-22
no class Thanksgiving
F 11-24
no class Thanksgiving
M 11-27
NCSU Poets Week: undergraduate, graduate, and faculty poems.  Poems of Dr. Tom Lisk
W 11-29
NCSU poets: Poems of Noel Moore, MFA student
F 12-1
NCSU poets TBA Poems of Dr. Jon Thompson
M.12-4
review for exam
W 12-6
review for exam  
F 12-8
review for exam
M 12-11
final exam; revision of paper 5 & paper 6, your poem(s) due

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