English 682 The Structure of Verse Kirby‑Smith Spring 2003
I. In addition to reading the assigned chapters and encyclopedia entries, please bring in a poem for discussion. You may take this from any anthology, book, or magazine‑‑or you may compose your own. The poem should illustrate some interesting pattern‑‑metrical, rhythmical, or auditory. Make enough copies for everyone in the class. Prepare your own analysis, making notes on what you identify as the functional patterns in the poem, and what their effects are. Bring copies and notes to class until a time arrives when your poem can be worked in. If you feel that there is some pattern there that you cannot identify, do as much with it as you can. These should be poems in English, from any period; but since we are working more with sound than with images, they should illustrate some auditory effect or recurrent pattern. Prose poems, found poems, or poems that use lines as a substitute for punctuation‑‑or for no purpose at all‑‑and which depend more on images, conversational idiom, ironies inherent in their subject, or personal facetiousness, are types of poetic art that do not make much use of patterned sound. Please don't use these.
II. In mid‑March, a report, about 15 minutes long. Suggested topics appear on a sheet to be passed out.
Other topics are certainly possible; please volunteer suggestions if you have them. In researching reports, be sure to go beyond what is available in the Princeton Encyclopedia.
Be sure that you understand what your topic is about if you choose one from the list.
III. A paper will be due April 10. This should be your own extended analysis of a poem or a group of poems, or of characteristic practices of a single poet. Please let me know before spring break what you plan to write on, and what your approach will be. This should be based entirely on your own observation and analysis (though, of course, you may use the texts for the course to provide terminology, if you need to). This should be 3000‑3500 words for graduate students, 1250‑1500 for undergraduates. The paper must take into account poetic structure
IV. Various quizzes and exercises will be announced two weeks before they occur or are due.
V. The grade for the course will take into account the final (25%), the long paper (25%), test (15%), report (15%), and the weekly class discussions (20%). All these percentages are approximate, and are listed for people who like percentages. Class attendance is expected; both the poems that you bring and the copies of poems that I pass out in class will provide a major part of the discussion, that that discussion is crucial to the application of the terms and insights in the texts.
VI. Paul Fussell's
Poetic Meter and Poetic Form and The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and
Poetics are both texts, but because of the great expense of the second
VII. It is hard to judge in advance how much time will prove appropriate to each unit of the course; at this point, all I can say is that we will take up each chapter of Fussell, and the accompanying topics, in about the order listed. Some topics may be dropped and others added.
VIII. If you need to talk to me, I will always be available in my office (200 A Foust) just before and after this class and at many other times.
IX: Schedule of readings and topics. Study one chapter of Fussell each week. The topics from the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics will not necessarily be taken up in exactly this order, but at some point you should study the coverage in that encyclopedia. There is some overlap in the topics as well, and many of them are also covered in the computer tutorial. Please do not see this list as an assignment for tedious rote learning; it is merely a guide to some topics that I would like you to have some familiarity with. Browse these topics in the Encyclopedia.
OUTCOME FOR COURSE: KNOWLEDGE OF FORM, METER, AND STRUCTURE IN POETRY
1. Fussell: The Nature of Meter ***** Encyclopedia Articles: Accent, Alliterative Meter, Amphibrach, Beat, Cadence, Choriamb, Classical Meters in Modern Languages, Diaeresis, Isochronism, Meter, Numbers, Pitch, Repetition, Sapphics, Syllable, Verse and Prose, (supple. Generative Metrics)
2. Fussell: The Technique of Scansion ***** Encyclopedia Articles:Anapest, Ascending Rhythm, Ballad Meter, Caesura, Dactyl, Decasyllable, Descending Rhythm, Dimeter, Dipodic Verse, Foot, Hemistich, Hendecasyllabic, Heptameter, Hexameter, Iamb, Ictus, Line, Line Endings, Measure, Poetic Contractions, Prosodic Notation, Prosody, Monometer, Monostich, Mosaic Rhyme, Near Rhyme (slant rhyme, oblique rhyme, half rhyme, para‑rhyme), Octameter, Octosyllabic Verse, Pentameter, Poulter's Measure, Pyrrhic, Scansion, Spondee, Syncope,Synthetic Rhythm, Tetrameter, Trimeter, Tercet, Trochee, Truncation
3. Fussell: Metrical Variation. ***** Encyclopedia Articles: Alexandrine, Anacrusis, Broken Rhyme, Echo, End‑stopped, Enjambement, Eye Rhyme, Hiatus, Hypermetric, Incremental Repetition, Metrical Variations, Phonetic Equivalent, Monorhyme, Perfect (True, Full) Rhyme, Refrain, Rest, Rhyme, Sound in Poetry, Substitution, Multiple Rhyme, Vowel Rhyme
4. Fussell: The Historical Dimension ***** Encyclopedia Articles: Christabel Meter, Couplet, Elegy, English Prosody, Epithaliamium, Heroic Couplet, Hudibrastic Verse, Hymn, Oral Poetry, Monk's Tale Stanza, Old Germanic Prosody, Ottava Rima, Rhyme Royal, Skeltonic Verse, Spenserian Stanza
5.Fussell: Free Verse ***** Encyclopedia Articles: Anaphora, Free Verse, Prose Poem, Vers Libre
6. Fussell: Some Critical Implications of Metrical Analysis ***** Encyclopedia Articles: Alliteration, Assonance, Cacophony, Elision, Parallelism
7. Fussell: Structural Principles: The Example of the Sonnet ***** Encyclopedia Articles: Caudate Sonnet, Form, Rhyme Scheme, Octave, Sestet,Sonnet Cycle, Structure
8. Fussell: The English Stanzas ***** Encyclopedia Articles: Canto, Canzone, Ode, Short Meter, Stanza, Venus and Adonis Stanza, In Memoriam Stanza
9. Fussell: Some Critical Implications of Stanzaic Forms ***** Encyclopedia Articles: Acrostic, Ballade, Bob and Wheel, Cinquain, Clerihew, Doggerel, Epitaph, Epode, Haiku, Light Verse, Limerick, Macaronic Verse, Nonsense Verse, Pantoum, Pattern Poetry (supple: Concrete Poetry), Quatrain, Quatorzain, Rondeau, Rondel, Rondeau Redouble, Roundel, Septet, Sestina, Tail Rhyme, Tanka, Terza Rima, Villanelle
10.Fussell: Conventions and the Individual Talent ***** Encyclopedia Articles:Rocking Rhythm, Running Rhythm, Sprung Rhythm
X: Please see my web site at: http://www.uncg.edu/~htkirbys/ (The site is also linked to my English Department Faculty page). Click on “Instructional Programs . . .” and go on through to the various tables, exercises, and quizzes. If you can, download the instructional program. I can also give you a disk that those four instructional programs written specifically for this course. The programs run on IBM‑compatible computers. The presentation of these programs is rather primitive and ugly, but there is a lot of information in them. Please use them until you can answer all the questions correctly. You should immediately begin working with the scansion program, and move on promptly to the one on poetical terminology. There will be quizzes on dates to be announced to check your progress. The other two units are appropriate to the remainder of the semester. The course will also make frequent use of tape recordings of poets reading their own work, to see how they interpreted their own rhythms.