The Poem (EAS1038)

StaffDr Simon Rennie - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of the course is to cultivate your skills of formal analysis which can be used in combination with other interpretive and creative techniques explored later in the degree. There will thus be a close focus in seminars on details of language in particular examples of poetry.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate a basic ability to identify and distinguish formal aspects of poetic texts
  • 2. demonstrate a basic ability to apply this knowledge to interpretation of poetic texts
  • 3. acquire a basic awareness of the range of poetic texts and the nature of poetic traditions from the classical period to the present
  • 4. demonstrate a basic ability to discuss theoretical issues arising from the analysis of poetic form

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. demonstrate a basic ability to analyse the literature of an earlier era and to relate its concerns and its modes of expression to its historical context
  • 6. demonstrate a basic ability to interrelate texts and discourses specific to their own discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history
  • 7. demonstrate a basic ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to literary texts

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Through seminar work, demonstrate basic communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups
  • 9. Through essay-writing, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, a basic capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose
  • 10. Through research for seminars and essays, demonstrate basic proficiency in information retrieval and analysis

Syllabus plan

Topics may include:

1. Introduction: What are we doing here?

2.  The Early History of Poetry

3.  Rhythm and Metre

4.  Rhyme

5.  Renaissance Poetry, an Overview

6.  Voice and Diction

7. Metaphor and Meaning

8.  Victorian Poetry, an Overview

9.  Applying Theory to Poetry

10. Modern uses of Classic Forms

11. Poetry in a Non-poetic World

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities16.5Seminar, (11 x 1.5hr)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities11Lecture, (11 x 1hr)
Guided independent study22Study group meeting and preparation
Guided independent study50Seminar preparation (individual)
Guided independent study50.5Reading, research and essay preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Close Analysis750 words1-2, 4-7, 9Feedback sheet with opportunity for office hours follow-up

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group Anthology401500 words1-7, 10Written feedback & optional meeting with tutor
Essay501000 words1-7, 9-10Written feedback & optional meeting with tutor
Seminar participation10Continuous1-8, 10Optional meeting with tutor

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group AnthologyAnthology Exercise1-7, 10Referral/deferral period
EssayEssay1-7, 9, 10 Referral/deferral period
Seminar participationRepeat Study or Mitigation1-7, 9, 10 Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th edition, ed. Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter and Jon Stallworthy (Norton, 2005)

Rhian Williams, The Poetry Toolkit 2nd Edn. (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)

Secondary reading:

How to Read a Poem by Terry Eagleton

Poetry: the Basics by Jeffrey Wainwright

The module description, lecture lists, additional reading materials and useful web links will be available via ELE.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

English, Literature, Poem, Poetry,