English 103 will introduce you to many aspects of poetry as an art form. We will be studying a variety of major poems in English in order to look at significant changes in the production and reception of lyric, dramatic, and narrative poems. We will consider such issues as voice, diction, image, trope, form, occasion, sequence, and closure. Metrics will be emphasized as a dynamic and historical aspect of poetic making. We will also discuss broad historical changes in poetry’s role in the culture and in the configuration of the poet’s relation to audience.
Our texts will be the Norton Anthology of Poetry (Fourth edition/ Ferguson, Salter, and Stallworthy); John Hollander’s handbook on metrics, Rhyme’s Reason; and Paul Fussell’s Poetic Meter and Poetic Form. All are available at the Penn Book Center. Requirements are: attendance at every class session; preparation of all readings; two short test/quizzes on aspects of poetic form; an in-class open book mid-term examination of 6 pages; a brief (5-6 page) analytic paper comparing two poems from two different time periods; and a take-home final examination of 7-8 pages. Grades will be based on the sum of your grades for tests and written work, with consideration given to improvement; attendance and participation in class will also be considered in your final grade.