Understanding poetry

Course Dates: 30/03/19
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Peter Brennan

From Shakespeare and Milton to Ezra Pound and Frank O'Hara, what makes different types of poetry tick, and how can we gain the confidence to read them perceptively and with real enjoyment?


What is the course about?

Poetry is often considered a ‘difficult’ - or even dated - art form. However, by learning to see (and hear) what is really present in a poem, you will be able you to relish poetry in many styles, both ‘classic’ and contemporary.

What will we cover?

Starting with poetry’s source in song, we shall look at how poets offer contrasting views of nature, urban life, and love.
As well as lyric poetry, we shall consider important verse forms, particularly the sonnet, blank verse and free verse. The work of Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth and Hopkins will be discussed alongside major 20C poets such as Wallace Stevens, Robert Creeley and Basil Bunting. Throughout the course we shall focus on how poetic technique creates meaning. In the process we shall illuminate the art of poetry and begin to understand how it is that poets speak to us across cultures and centuries.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Discuss and clarify some of the most important characteristics of English poetry over the last 700 years.
Appreciate how poems reflect the times and traditions that have helped to form them.
Demonstrate understanding of how style and technique contribute to the meaning and impact of poems.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You will need an enthusiasm for reading and discussing a range of spiritual texts. You will interested in listening to – and learning from – the responses of other students to the works discussed. You will have a commitment to developing both your insight and your analytical skills.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Teacher explanation; group discussion.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will be provided with photocopies of the all the poems to be studied. Please bring a pen and paper.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for other poetry courses under History, Culture and Writing at www.citylit.ac.uk.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Book your place

Course Code: HLT77

Sat, day, 30 Mar - 30 Mar '19

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £49.00
Senior fee: £39.00
Concession: £22.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? humanities@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.