Intro to Poetry

Register to Vote!

ballot-boxFor those of you who are eligible citizens, be sure that you are registered to vote in the upcoming election. For many reasons, this is a very important election, and you should be a part of it! And it’s not just the presidential election–we’re voting for representatives in the House and Senate, as well as state and local representatives.


Here are a couple of links that will help point you in the right direction:

Campus Vote Project
Info for the state of Georgia:
The election will take place in November, but keep in mind that the registration deadline in Georgia is October 11.

Using this website

This website will be the electronic hub for our class. I’ll post information, clarifications, examples, and anything I feel is relevant to the course.

You can find all of the syllabus information in the top menu. I haven’t added content to to the assignments menu yet, but you can expect those sometime in the next week or so. On the right side panel, you’ll find my contact info and office hours (during which I will usually be sitting in “my office” at Peet’s in the library basement). If you need to meet with me outside of my scheduled office hours, shoot me an email and we’ll set something up. Keep in mind that I have a pretty packed schedule; I’ll do my best to accommodate you, but you need to plan ahead, contact me early, and be flexible.

Also on the right side panel, you can find a calendar which I’ll keep updated with assignments and events related to class. If you have an event you want publicized to the class, let me know and I’ll put it on the calendar. Underneath the calendar, there’s a subscription bar where you can put in your email address so that you’re notified every time I post on the website. I recommend that you subscribe so that you don’t miss anything. You’re adults; it’s up to you to keep up with the website.

Intro to Poetry

i_love_poetryWelcome to Intro to Poetry with your host, Shanna Early. This is going to be a great semester. We’re going to learn strategies for reading poetry that will help you to enjoy and understand poetry better. My hope is that you develop a great appreciation of poetry, not only as a unique and beautiful art form, but also as a valuable contribution to the broader artistic landscape through which we respond to the world around us.

Much of what we’ll do when we read poetry during this class is analytical in nature. We’ll be talking about what poems mean, what words, form, images, etc., are doing, how and what the poem communicates–that kind of thing. But the point of reading this way will not be to “dissect” the poem. Our aim will not be to read violently. Instead, we want to gain a greater appreciation for the artistry and energy of the poetry though understanding. As I said in class, I like to think of careful reading of poetry as a kind of conversation–the text speaks, you ask it questions (in a sense), and you listen for answers. We’re aiming for what Billy Collins describes in the first part of his poem “Introduction to Poetry,” which we read together in class today. Let’s “feel the walls for a light switch,” as Collins suggests.

In our next class, we’ll start talking about strategies for this kind of reading.

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