ENG 271 (08): Genre – Poetry

TR 12-1:15

Kuykendall 406

Instructor:  Prof.
Caroline Sinavaiana

KUY 719 / Tel. 956.3076 / Fax 956.3083

wonder why dictators go after writers and intellectuals first? Is there really
something to the idea that “the pen is mightier than the sword”?  Why do people turn to poetry in times of
loss?  What is this mysterious power that
poetry exerts over us? How are good poems actually made? How can we make one

this course we will explore the world of poetry, both literally and
figuratively. We will do lots of reading, talking and writing. We will look at
different kinds of poems, from ancient to contemporary, from epic to hip hop,
sonnets and free verse, haiku and documentary poems, and more. I will encourage
you to find forms or styles that speak most strongly to you, to imitate them
and then branch out from there.

look at poems from different cultures and histories. We’ll write our own poems
to “answer” other poems that have moved us in some way. We’ll share our work
with each other in small groups, in ways that are constructive and conducive to
strong, effective writing and thinking.

will ask you to write one poem a week that reflects your understanding of the
week’s featured poet(s) or poem; post weekly responses to the week’s readings
to the class blog; and give one presentation (on your own or with a small
group) to the class on the poetry or poet of your choice from the course

Required Texts (available from Revolution Books in Puck’s

  • The Making of a Poem, Mark Stand and
    Eavan Boland.
  • The Ecco Anthology of
    International Poetry
    Ilya Kaminsky and Susan Harris.

from TBA)

  • Course Reader:  including writers from a wide range of
    cultures and periods, including Oceania, the Middle East, Native and African
    American traditions, the Beats!


  • Participation on the blog and active participation in class
    discussions of readings and your poems;
  • Participation in discussion, both in class and online;
  • One class presentation (individual or small group) on a poet from
    the course list;
  • Final project:  a collection
    of original poems (10-12 pages or so) composed and revised during the semester.

To pass
the course, all work must be completed.