This introductory course, which can be taken to fulfil the prerequisite to declare a major in English Studies, will introduce students to the study and critical appreciation of poetry through historical and analytical perspectives. Reading and discussing poems and poets from different periods, students will learn about the development of poetic forms and practices in historical contexts. Studying poems in different genres, students will also learn to recognize the significance of poetic form, poetic language, and poetic voice. In analysing and discussing poetry, we will pay special attention to its relationship to everyday uses of language, both casual and official. The course will end with a consideration of contemporary practices and contexts of writing, performing, reading, and listening to poetry.
What is poetry? The relationship between poetry and other uses of language. Elements of poetry (form, language, voice). Poetry as critical-creative response to historical conditions and contexts. Cultural significance of different poetic genres. Motives for writing and reading poetry past and present. Practices of poetry in non-print media and contexts.
This course introduces students to the basics of poetic language and poetry criticism. It teaches students how to engage with poems as formal and expressive constructs. It also aims to offer students an outline of literary history and change through the study of how popular forms have been used from the past to the present. Students will also learn how poems refer to and foster ways of thinking and modes of belief.
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a basic knowledge of poetry as a subject of academic study, its historical evolution and transformation
- Situate and comment on a given poem or passage in relation to specific disciplinary knowledge
- Distinguish between personal response and disciplinary interest and appreciate the value of critical distance in discussions of poetry
- Recognize and identify different periods and scholarly approaches in the study of English poetry
- Explain the relevance of particular poetic forms or practices to social, cultural and political situations.
The three timetabled hours will be used for lectures and tutorials/workshops. The course schedule will be posted on the Moodle page once registration opens.
The course will be assessed entirely by coursework, consisting of:
- Participation and contribution to tutorial activities: 20%
- Short writing assignment: 20%
- Mid-term essay: 20%
- Final paper: 40%
All texts selected will be available online. Links to texts will be posted on the course Moodle page that can be accessed by students who are registered in the course. Resources for study will also be placed on reserve at the HKU library