Poetry ENG 106 is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the formal properties of poetry in English. Through careful analysis poems by major writers, such as Plath, Whitman, Dickinson, McKay, Lee, Bishop, Brooks and many others, students will be challenged to explain not only what a given poem might mean to its readers, but also how a poem communicates meaning differently than a work of fiction, drama, or some other mode of literary expression. Meter, rhyme, poetic genre, and stanza form are some of the terms and concepts examined in this course. ENG 106 is not a comprehensive introduction to the tradition of English and American poetry; it is, rather, a series of intensive exercises designed to equip students with the analytical tools needed to read, discuss, and write about poetry effectively. Weekly readings are relatively short but extremely demanding, and students will do a substantial amount of critical writing, including formal essays totaling at least 8 -10 pages.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.