There will be 3 interrelated sections in the course. The first, “What is poetry?”, will introduce students to a number of poems which talks about poetry as a creative process, and how to approach relations between poet, text, and reader. The second, “The Sonnet”, contains a number of examples of this important poetic form in order to show how it has been used from the seventeenth century to the present day. In the third section, “The Lyric”, students will read examples of poetry as subjective expression, the interaction of speakers in a poem, and the polyvocality of poetry as a forum of critical debate.





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 read a poem in English confidently
  • to produce an informed response to a poem's technical, expressive and ideological features
  • to be conversant with two of the most popular forms in English poetry
  • to initiate discussion on relations between poems from different historical moments
  • to appreciate and discuss differences in the ways poets have written about poetry as creative process, romance, innocence and experience.




The 3 timetabled hours will be used for lectures and workshops. The course schedule will be posted on the Moodle page once registration opens.




Coursework accounts for 100% of your grade and will depend on:

Oral contributions


- Lecture attendance and participation


- Workshop 2


- Workshop 3


Written assignments


- In-class quiz


- In-class essays





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.



Last updated: 3 May 2016