In this course, we will examine a variety of approaches to the study of the formal elements of poetry. We will examine traditional English verse scansion with a view towards its limitations. We will examine alternative theories of scansion, proposed mostly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including beat scansion, generative metrics, and parallels with music. We will also examine stanzaic structure, rhyme, and other linguistic patternings, including new developments in the field of phonostylistics, the study of texts based on their phonetic content. We will read some of the best English poetry and try to understand what makes poetry poetry.
on reserve: Paul Fussell, Poetic Meter & Poetic Form
on reserve: Derek Attridge, The Rhythms of English Poetry
The due dates of the four assignments are listed on the class schedule: papers are due in class on those days. The papers may be handed in up to one week late without any penalty; after that, the lateness penalty will be 2%/day, including Saturdays and Sundays.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. All essays and tests are subject to an additional oral and/or written test at my discretion. All suspected plagiarism will be reported.
Tuesdays 10:00 to 11:00
Thursdays 2:00 to 4:00
Please drop by my office (without an appointment) during office hours. If you would like to meet me at a different time, please email me and we’ll set up an appointment.
Please feel free to email me. My email address is: marcp @ -- and you know the rest of the regular Nipissing domain email address. To assist me, please place ENGL3027 at the start of the subject line (Nipissing sends me many emails every day: I do not want emails from students to get lost in the profusion of administrative communications). You may have to wait a day or two for an answer: please do not email me requests that need to be answered immediately. Note also that if I think an email response will take too much time or will not adequately address the complexity of the issue raised, I will simply respond by requesting you meet with me during office hours to discuss the issue.
You will receive no grade on attendance alone. Participation includes both a vocal component and participation in in-class exercises.
|January 6||words and syllables; feet|
|January 11||basic scansion|
|January 13||basic scansion; duple and triple metre|
|January 18||basic scansion; substitutions and pull|
|January 20||basic scansion; verse forms|
|January 25||basic scansion; caesuras and pauses|
|January 27||basic scansion; interpretation|
|February 1||advanced scansion; secondary stress||first assignment|
|February 3||advanced scansion|
|February 8||advanced scansion; prose|
|February 10||mid-term test|
|February 15||study week|
|February 17||study week|
|February 22||basic, accentual, and sprung rhythm; counterpoint||second assignment|
|February 24||musical rhythm|
|March 1||musical rhythm; architechtonics|
|March 3||generative metrics|
|March 8||generative metrics|
|March 10||rhyme; alliteration; phonemics|
|March 15||phonemics||third assignment|
|March 22||poetry and sound|
|March 24||poetry and sound; poetry and music|
|March 29||poetry and music||fourth assignment|