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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 211
Course Title: Introduction to Poetry
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: A comprehensive introduction to the elements and major writers of poetry of varying lengths. G.E.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Occasional offering.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

As much as possible, readings should stress canonical authors and works. The anthologies below provide considerable latitude for any instructor; selected longer poems (narratives, epics) should be works of genuine worth.

Poetry: An Introduction
By Meyer, Michael, ed. (Bedford Books of St. Martinís)
Approaching Poetry: Perspectives and Responses
By Schaekel, Peter & Jack Ridl, eds. (St. Martinís)
One or two longer poems

Course Objectives
  • To gain and demonstrate growing mastery of elements of poetry.
  • To practice basic critical analysis and evaluation of poetry in a variety of ways.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of poetry ranging from extremely short forms through the epic.
    Measurable Learning
  • Identify and distinguish among poetic elements.
  • Evaluate recursively the elements in poetry as they appear in repeated and different formats.
  • Demonstrate through oral and written exercises practical criticism of poetry.
  • Demonstrate command of basic appropriate literary terms and elements.
    Topical Outline: Departmental policy requires a minimum of 4500 words of graded student writing for this course.
  • Overview of the elements of poetry: speaker, setting and situation, diction (word choice, word order, and tone), images, figures of speech, symbol, allegory, irony, sounds, patterns of rhythm, poetic forms, open form
  • Short Poetic forms: epigram, lyric, ode. Practical criticism stressing the elements
  • Longer poetic forms: meditations, narratives (allegory), epistles. Practical criticism stressing the elements
  • The epic. Practical criticism stressing the elements

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Danny Campbell Date: April 3, 2006
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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