English 1114: Poetry



LL = Lyric link — = song (linked to YT version) — YT = Youtube video

Texts in bold & black = texts to bring to class in hard-copy form

R = supplied readings (click week titles in dark green caps)


Introduction. You don't have to prepare for the first class. After a quick overview of the course site, we’ll take a closer look at the Six Categories, a clip, and Higher Learning, after which we'll look at the following texts: "At the Station of the Metro" (Pound - text in Essays), LL "Tales of Brave Ulysses" (Cream),  LL "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" (Death Cab for Cutie), and ♫ YT "Elephant Love Medley" (from Moulin Rouge! - dialogue in Essays). We’ll also look at samples of literary analysis, which can be found in Essays and the Six Categories, starting with 1. Space.

Read the following pages very carefully, and several times if necessary: — Outline & Schedule — Essay Structure and Essays — Six Categories: 1: Space2-5: Time, etc., & 6: Style

I suggest that in the first week of class you 1) print Readings: Weeks 2-4 and Readings: Weeks 5-6, and 2) find on the Net and print out the lyrics which are marked LL and hyperlinked in green. You'll need hard copies of the texts for the mid-term and final exams, which are open book. Look at the instructions under Week 7 for rules on how much you can mark up the texts.


Sun & Stars. WS Sonnet 116 LL "Black Star" (Radiohead) - LL "Black" (Pearl Jam) -  LL "Paint It Black" (Rolling Stones) - "Sonnet 130" (Shakespeare - R) - "Bright Star" (Keats - R) -  LL "Reason or Rhyme" (Bryan Ferry). Q. How do the poets use imagery of stars and suns? How do they use colour?


Deep End. "Ophelia's Death" (Shakespeare, from Hamlet - R- also see WS Ophelia) - LL "Ophelia" (Natalie Merchant - this address has the foreign words at the end, with a translation; "They wasted" in stanza 7 should read "Lay wasted") -  LL "Abattoir Blues" (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds) -  LL "Nature Boy" (Nick Cave) - YT LL "Swimming Pools (Drank)" (Kendrick Lamar ) -  LL "Pride" (Kendrick Lamar). Q. How does Merchant’s version of Ophelia differ from the original? What role do setting, love, and allusion play in Cave? What is the relation of idealism to realism in Cave and Lamar?


Tainted Love. "Love's Grief" & ♫ YT “Love at First Sight” (in Romance) - "To His Coy Mistress" ("Mistress," Andrew Marvell - R) -  LL "No I in Threesome" ("Threesome," Interpol) -  LL"Beauty Queen" (Bryan Ferry) - “Amsterdam” (Jacques Brel - R) - LL “Port of Amsterdam” (David Bowie). Given that you have an essay due this week, I don't expect you to read the following texts before class — but make sure to bring hard-copies of them. 

Essay # 1 (15%) due at the start of class

Write a scratch outline (maximum 150 words) and an essay (maximum 650 words) comparing two of the following five poems:  LL “Pilgrim” (Sarah Slean) -  LL "Back to Black" (Amy Winehouse ) - "somewhere" (e.e.. cummings - R) - “A Love Song for Lucinda” (Langston Hughes, in Readings) - “Ben Nevis” (Keats - R) -    LL"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" (Bob Dylan).

You can find sample scratch outlines in Essays and WS Sonnet 116. “somewhere” and “Lucinda” are in Readings. You can mention video versions briefly, yet make sure your analysis is squarely on the texts.

Compare the two poems in terms of one of the six categories. You can use the category in general (such as 1. space or 3. character) or you can use a sub-category (such as image or metaphor, which are sub-categories of 6. Style).

Late papers will be docked 5% per day  ❧ Essays must be typed, double spaced, using 12-14 point font  ❧ Include word counts for the outline and the essay  ❧ Put your name in the upper right hand corner  ❧ Put your scratch outline before your essay  ❧ Give your essay a title (it can be creative) ❧ Don’t use a cover page, paper clips, or folders; just staple the pages together

WEEK 5                                     

Idealism & Reality 1.   LL "Hotel California" (The Eagles) - "'Tis Not So Above" (from Hamlet - R) - "The Girl from Ermita" ("Ermita," Goh Poh Seng - R - also see the worksheet Ermita) - "When I Have Fears" ("Fears," John Keats - R) - YT LL "Everything is Everything" ("Everything," Lauryn Hill). Q. How do the Eagles and Shakespeare use setting and religion to depict the trapped states of their characters? How do Keats and Goh Poh Seng use space (locations, verticality, etc.) and natural imagery (plants, animals, etc.) to depict character?


Idealism & Reality 2.   LL "Lola" (The Kinks) - "Donna Julia" (Byron, from Don Juan - R) - Don Juan de Marcos (film shown in class; the script is here or here — you can bring the script or parts of it to the midterm exam) 


Mid-term exam: two essays (25%), 160 minutes.

1)  "Love's Grief" - YT “Love at First Sight” - "Sonnet 130" - "Bright Star"  ❧❧❧ "Black Star" - "Black" - "Paint It Black" - "Reason or Rhyme"

2)  "Ophelia's Death" - "Ermita" - “Amsterdam” ❧❧❧ "Ophelia" - "Pride" - "Hotel California" - “Port of Amsterdam”

3)  YT "Swimming Pools" - "Abattoir Blues" - "Beauty Queen" ❧❧❧ "'Tis Not So Above" - "Nature Boy" - YT "Everything" - "Fears"

4)  "Mistress" - "Threesome" - "Lola" ❧❧❧ "Donna Julia" - Don Juan de Marcos (script1) (script2)

At the start of the exam, I’ll roll a dice to determine which two — from the four groups above —- you’ll write on. For each of the two essays you'll compare one or more of the items on the left side of the leaf marks with one or more of the items on the right side. 

For instance, if I roll 1 and 2, you could compare "Love's Grief" with "Black Star" and then compare "Ophelia's Death" with "Ophelia."

Since the exam’s meant to test coverage, write about the same amount for each of the two essays, and write about the same amount for items on both sides of the leaf marks. Remember that you need to make insightful points about the poems. Avoid picking too many poems and skimming over them. In many cases, it's better to focus on fewer poems, making deeper arguments with specific references to the texts.

The exam is open book, which means that you can consult hard copies (paper copies) of the texts. You can also bring in one maximum 150-word scratch outline for each essay (you must put a word count at the end of each outline).

You may not consult other course information, notes, electronic devices, dictionaries, or any other material. You can bring in whatever is in the Readings, but nothing from the worksheets — with the exception of “WS Romance” (you can bring in a hard copy of the entire worksheet). You may also bring in part or all of the movie script for Don Juan de Marcos.

You can put your outlines on one page if you want. Or, you can put them on four separate sheets of paper (this might help you focus — and it would also allow you to make notes on the outlines during the exam). You can consult all four outlines, as well as all the texts, during the exam.

You may write brief notes in the margins of your texts — no more than 15 words per page — yet you may not write sentences or words that clearly link up into sentences. Blank sides of paper cannot contain notes, and type must be maximum 14-point font and no more than double-spaced (in other words, you can’t increase your margin notes by using more pages than necessary).

Students who break any of these rules will be penalized: they will not be allowed to consult anything at all — including the texts of the poems themselves. Anyone caught copying another student, using other material, or consulting an electronic device will get 0% for the exam. If you’re waiting for a very important text or call, you must inform me before the exam starts.


The Mighty & the Fallen. LL "Saint Pablo" (Kanye West) - "Ozymandias" (Horace Smith - R) & "Ozymandias" (Percy Shelley - R) - "The Shield of Achilles" ("Shield," W.H. Auden - R - also see the worksheet Achilles) -  LL "Long Road Out of Eden" ("Eden," The Eagles)


Rough Passages. See the worksheet Rough Passages LL "Thousands Are Sailing" ("Thousands," The Pogues) - "Caliban" (Edward Brathwaite - R) "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" (“Rivers” - R) & "Harlem" (Langston Hughes - R) - YT LL "Mississippi Goddam" (Nina Simone) - LL "Strange Fruit" (lyric Abel Meeropol, song Billie Holiday) 


Deep South. See the worksheets Hallelujah and Lemonade.  YT "Katrina/Hallelujah" ("Hurricane Katrina – you must watch this," The Ticket - including "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen - R) - YT LL "Formation" (Beyoncé) - LL “XXX” (Kendrick Lamar) 

WEEK 11                                                        

Versions of Revolt. "And I Will War" (Byron - R) - YT LL "The Fight Song" (Marilyn Manson) - [we may also look briefly at YT "Strange Fruit (Blood on the Leaves)"] - LL "I’ve Got Life" (Hill) -  "El Puro No Hay Futuro" / "There’s No Future in Purity" ("Futuro," Jarabe de Palo - R)


When Hell Breaks Loose.  "Unto the Breach" (from Henry V - R ) - "Dulce et Decorum Est" "Anthem for Doomed Youth" ("Dulce" & "Anthem," Wilfred Owen - R) - LL "Us and Them" (Pink Floyd) - LL "Roads to Moscow" (Al Stewart) 


Dust & Stardust. "Dust" & "Dream" (from Hamlet - R) - "When I Heard the Learned Astronomer" ("Astronomer," Walt Whitman - R) - LL"Brain Damage" &  LL "Eclipse" (Pink Floyd) - “Comme Un Lego” / “Like Lego” (“Lego,” Alain Bashung - R) - LL "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Queen) - ♫ "Una Breve Vacanza" / "A Short Vacation" ("Vacanza," Nina Zilli - R)


I will be in my office during class this week. This is a very good time to drop in and have a chat about your final paper.

Essay #2 (20%) 

Write a maximum 700-word essay (plus scratch outline) on one or two texts from Weeks 8-13. You can focus on one of the six categories or on any aspect you want (as long as you’re dealing specifically with the text). If you write on two texts, you must do a comparative analysis. YOU CANNOT WRITE YOUR FINAL EXAM ON THE SAME TEXT/S.

Follow the format instructions for the Week 4 essay.

You may hand in your final essay during the final class, anytime before the exam (in the LLPA Assignment Drop-Box — in the hall, outside S 2600), or at the final exam. I CANNOT ACCEPT ESSAYS AFTER THE FINAL EXAM.

Final Exam (30%)

The time-limit (160 minutes) and format are the same as for the mid-term exam.

1.  "Saint Pablo" - "Ozymandias" (Smith and/or Shelley) - "Shield" ❧❧❧ "Eden" - YT "Katrina/Hallelujah"

2.  "Thousands" - "Caliban" - "Rivers" - "Harlem" - "Strange Fruit" ❧❧❧ YT "Formation" - "I've Got Life" - YT "Mississippi Goddam"

3.  "And I Will War" - "Fight Song" - "Unto the Breach" - “XXX” ❧❧❧ "Dulce" - "Anthem" - "Futuro" - "Roads to Moscow" - "Us and Them" 

4.  "Dust" - "Dream" - "Astronomer" - "Brain Damage" - "Eclipse" ❧❧❧ - “Lego” - "Bohemian Rhapsody" - "Vacanza"                                                      


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Table of Contents for English 1114


Readings: Wk. 2-4 5-6 8-10 11-13