Robert Frost: a life in poetry
Time: 19:30 - 21:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HLT280
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
This online introductory literature course explores Frost’s poetry through five key themes and nine poems. In Week One, we will reading two poems which address the theme of rural life: ‘Mending Wall’ and ‘Birches’. The nature of home will be examined in Week Two, through two poems from 1914 – ‘The Death of a Hired Man’ and ‘Home Burial’ – both of which utilise speech and have tragic elements. ‘The Wood-Pile’ and the particularly dark ‘Out, Out—’ enable us to contemplate the theme of man’s isolation in Week Three. Two narrative poems will provide the backbone for Week Four in which we will discuss Frost’s association of women with wildness in ‘The Witch of Coos’, which was published in 1923, and several extracts from other poems so that we can delve into this theme in greater depth. In the final week, through our analyses of ‘Two Look at Two’ and ‘The White-Tailed Hornet’, the latter of which was published in 1936, we will examine man’s relationship with nature. Each week there will be secondary texts, which may include extracts from essays, poems and letters, some by Frost and some by other writers, to enable us to set Frost’s work within a larger literary tradition.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
All the poems will be read and discussed in terms of form, structure; theme, technique; style; characterisation and their appeal or success as literary texts. In our analysis of the texts, we will consider the different contexts in which they were created, particularly the biographical, geographical and historical context, but for some texts we will also consider philosophical contexts.
The tutor will provide all materials for study.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• analyse poetry to better understand Frost’s language choices;
• discuss poetry with reference to a variety of different contexts: historical, literary, biographical and geographical
• explain important elements of plot and characterisation within longer dramatic and narrative poems;
• evaluate the significance of form and style; and
• use key terminology within your discussions of literary texts.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The level of this course is introductory to those who have done some literary study, though all learners are welcome. Learners will ideally need the following skills and attributes:
• an enthusiasm for reading and discussing a range of texts within large and small groups;
• a willingness and ability to read the poems outside the class; and
• an interest in, and ability to listen to, the responses of other students about the work discussed.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
A variety of teaching methods will be used, including short lecture with PowerPoint presentation, small group work using secondary text extracts, whole class discussion.
Work outside class is to read the relevant poems in preparation for the upcoming week.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
The tutor will provide all materials for study. Bring a pen and paper or a tablet for notetaking.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Look for other Literature courses at www.citylit.ac.uk under History, Culture & Writing/Literature.
Woody River has fifteen years of experience teaching literature, language, creative writing and academic writing. She has worked within secondary, further, higher and community education. With a First Class BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing, as well as an MA in Creative Writing, Woody has a vast knowledge of British and international literature across different genres and forms and is particularly interested in European and Japanese literature.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.