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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Andrew E Feld
ENGL 581
Seattle Campus

The Creative Writer as Critical Reader

Class description

The goal of this course is to provide students with a solid grounding in the history and evolution of lyric poetry in English, from its Old English origins up to the extraordinary variety of contemporary poetic practices. We will study the formal principles which have traditionally distinguished poetry from prose (meter, rhyme, stanza and form), poetic conventions such as courtly love and Romantic nature worship, and poetic genres such as the epic, the pastoral elegy and the greater Romantic lyric, and we will study how these forms, conventions and genres have changed from one historical period to another. In order to fully understand these changes we will study several of the important texts, written by poets, philosophers and critics, which have provided the theoretical foundations for each periodís dominant poetics, and we will examine how aesthetic judgments have been and are made about individual poets and poetic schools and styles.

Student learning goals

How to scan English poetry

How to identify and differentiate the poetry of different periods

How to read a poem closely

How different periods have viewed the function and pleasures of poetry.

How to appreciate and take pleasure in the rich complexities of this vibrant art.

General method of instruction

Lecture, class discussion, presentations

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Students will write three papers, two 2-3 page papers and a final paper of 5-6 pages. There will also be a midterm and a final.

The presentation and the two 2-3 page papers will each count for 10% of your final grade and the 5-6 page paper for 20%. The midterm will count for 20% of the grade, and the final will count for 30%.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Andrew E Feld
Date: 01/21/2008