English 271

(section 02W)

Exploring Poetry
Spring 2013
T, TH 11:30-12:45
Sullivan Center 203
Steven Jones

In this core course we’ll read and recite poetry from a number of different historical periods in order to learn how it works as an art form, how to talk about it and how to write about it–but with some historical understanding. This section is writing intensive, so you’ll keep a weekly blog about some aspect of the reading or additional research of your own. You’ll also bring additional poems you find to class and present them, join in class discussions and recitations, and sometimes practice writing poems in order to get a sense of how they work from the inside. (No special artistic skill is required for this exercise!)

GRADES (approximately)
incl. presentations
and recitations ………. 15%
Weekly blog ………….. 40%
Final paper ………….. 20%
Midterm …………….. 10%
Final exam ……………. 15%

The required readings are listed below (though we’ll all be bringing other readings into the discussion). All of these poems will be found in an e-booklet you can download as a PDF (271poems) or (by email request to me) an ePub document (for reading in the iBooks app on iOS devices). You can print it out on paper for easy annotating, or you can invent your own system for keeping notes electronically as you read on your device. How we read today, in the age of digital publishing, will be one topic we’ll take up in our discussions.


17 Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

22 Shakespeare, Sonnet 55
24 Shakespeare, Sonnet 73

29 Marvell, “To his Coy Mistress”
31 Donne, “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”

5 Blake, “The Lamb”
7 Blake, “The Tyger”

12 Wordsworth, “We Are Seven”
14 Wordsworth, “A slumber did my spirit seal”

19 Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”
21 Coleridge, “Frost at Midnight”

26 Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale”
28 Shelley, “To a Sky-Lark”


12 Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind”
14 MIDTERM; Shelley, “Ozymandias”

19 Byron, “She Walks in Beauty”
21 Hardy, “The Darkling Thrush”

26 Dickinson, 632, 1129
28 Dickinson, 712

2 Whitman, “Song of Myself, I-II”
4 Pound, “In a Station of the Metro;” H.D. “Oread;” Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow;” Williams, “This is Just to Say”

9 Snyder, “Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout”
11 Snyder “Ripples on the Surface”

16 Waldman, “Makeup on Empty Space”
18 Ginsberg, “A Supermarket in California”

23 Koch, “Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams;” “Spring; ” Koch, “To My Twenties”
25 Collins, “Picnic, Lightning;” Collins, “Introduction to Poetry”; FINAL PAPER DUE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s