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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2009

E 314L • Reading Poetry

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, room location, prerequisites and possible cross-listings:

Marianne Moore opens her famous poem "Poetry" with the line, "I, too, dislike it." Far too frequently, we approach poetry defensively, waiting for it to shut us out, to be incomprehensible, sentimental, or downright silly. However, if we take the time to study poetry, its conventions and tropes, its traditions, we can, like Moore, come to find “that there is in it after all, a place for the genuine.” In this section of E314L, we will begin with Shakespeare and end with contemporary American poets. We'll cover the Elizabethans, the Romantics, the Modernists, the poets of the Harlem Renaissance, the Beats, the Confessionalists, and more. We'll look at history, at biography, at literary devices, and at form, and we’ll concentrate on close reading. In this course, you will learn the skills you need to read, discuss, and write about poetry.

Grading Policy

Class participation, 5%; Quizzes, 10%; Paper 1 (5-7 pgs), 25%; Paper 2 (5-7 pgs), 25%; Paper 3 (an expanded and heavily revised version of paper 1 or 2, 8-10 pgs), 35%.


The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Shorter Edition. Course Packet. This will include a few essays on style and meter, as well as supplemental contemporary poems.


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