English 1114: Poetry


Dr. Roger Clark, New Westminster Campus

Section 020 (23705): Tues & Thurs. 12:30-2:20, Room S 1711

Section 009 (22168): Tues & Thurs. 2:30-4:20, Room S 2802

Office Hours (Room 2806E)

Wednesday: 5:30-6:20 drop in. Tuesday and Thursday: 5:30-6:20 by appointment. I may also be able to meet at other times during those days.  


clarkr@douglascollege.ca or ryoclark@gmail.com (I check my gmail more often). Please make sure to identify yourself by 1) your first and last name, 2) the course name -- Poetry -- and 3) the day and time of the class. For example: "Robin Smith, Poetry, Tuesday night." I teach about 120 students per term and don’t always have my class lists with me.

Course Description for All 1114 Sections of English 1114

In this course students will read, discuss and write about poetry. In English 1114, students will focus on detailed analysis of poems. The works studied may include poems from diverse cultures, contexts and traditions, as well as from non-traditional sources, such as song lyrics or spoken word.

Course Description for This Section of English 1114

We’ll explore poetry about love, social conscience, and meaning. In general, we’ll start each theme with some Shakespeare (mostly Hamlet) or some Romantic poetry (mostly Keats and Byron). We’ll then spend most of our time on poetry and lyrics from the 20th and 21st centuries. We’ll look at traditional forms of poetry, as well as poetry that’s integrated with music, drama, and film. You'll be required to attend class, to participate in class discussion and group work, write two take-home essays, and write four in-class essays (for the mid-term and final exams).

Course Materials

You don’t need to buy a text or course pack. You’ll use the readings on this site, and you’ll download lyrics from the Net. I’ve not assigned a poetry text and won’t test you on poetic terms, such as those in Category 6: Style (that page contains the most common poetic terms, such as image and metaphor). For those who need a refresher on grammar and basic writing, see Appendix A: Glossary of English Rhetoric, Grammar, and Usage or the Purdue University grammar section. On this site Marking has sample expression errors and corrections, as well as abbreviations used in marking.

You may want to consult the open online Composition and Literature: A Handbook and Anthology, especially its helpful list of terms in Appendix A: Glossary of English Rhetoric, Grammar, and Usage and its Appendix B: Glossary of Literary Terms.

Note that the information on this site supersedes any information you may find on other sites or books. In general this isn’t an issue, yet it may be an issue when it comes to marks.

I don’t allow the use of electronic devices in class, so make sure to bring hard copies of all assigned reading. You’ll need these hard copies for the mid-term and final exams. Be advised that because the exams are open book, there’s a strict limit on the number of notes you can make on the pages you bring in. See the mid-term instructions in the Schedule for more information.


15 %:  Take-home Essay # 1

25 %:  Mid-term exam (2 in-class essays)             

20 %:  Take-home Essay # 2

30 %:  Final exam (2 in-class essays)

10 %:  Participation

A+ = 95-100% = flawless or nearly flawless  A = 90-94%  =  exceptional  A- = 85-89% = excellent

B+ = 80-84% = extremely good  B = 75-79% = very good  B- = 70-74% = good

C+ = 65-69% = competent  C  = 60-65% = barely competent  C- = 55-59% = flawed

P = 50-54% = seriously flawed  F =  0-49% = unacceptable, fail

Assignments and Essays

There will be no re-writes or make-up assignments.

Computer or printer problems won’t be accepted as valid reasons for missing or incomplete work. Always back up your latest copy. Since computers and printers can malfunction, complete your work at least a day in advance. Keep copies of earlier drafts.

If you can’t physically hand me a paper when it’s due, put it in the LLPA assignment drop-box next to 2600. If you’re sick (or an emergency prevents you from coming to class), send me the essay by email. You must also (afterwards) give me a hard copy that’s exactly the same as the emailed version. I’ll mark the hard copy. If the hard copy differs from the original, I’ll count the hard copy as late.

Except in very exceptional circumstances, I won’t mark emailed assignments or essays.  

Participation and Attendance

The participation mark reflects the degree to which you’re prepared for class and the degree to which you engage in classroom discussion in a constructive manner.

Texting at any time and chatting during lectures are sure ways to lower your 10% participation mark. For habitual offenders, I may dock an extra 5% or 10% from their final grade.

Attendance is mandatory. You’re allowed to miss one week’s worth of class with no penalty. For a three-hour class, I’ll dock 5% of your final course mark for the second and for subsequent undocumented absences. For a two-hour class I’ll dock 2.5% for the third and for subsequent undocumented absences. By undocumented absence I mean an absence for which you offer no valid reason (accident, emergency, illness, etc.) and for which you have no verification (note from doctor, coach, parent, etc.). 

If you don’t attend at least 70% of the class — for whatever reason — you’ll receive a “UN” grade (unofficial withdrawal).

If you have a job that conflicts with the class, get time-release commitments from your employer or drop the class. Don’t expect me to let you skip classes, come late, or leave early. If you repeatedly arrive late or leave early, you’ll be marked absent on those occasions.

After term ends I can give you mark breakdowns, and we can set up an appointment to discuss your mark, yet I won’t discuss your mark in detail over email.

Academic Integrity

Whenever you use a specific source for a marked assignment, you must document it. You don’t need to document what’s common knowledge (for example, that AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), but you must document any wording or information that has a specific source (for example, a specific statement made about AIDS, a statistic on infection rates, etc.). Using the work of another student is also considered plagiarism.

Plagiarism will result in a 0% for the paper, and may also result in additional measures decided by the College according to its Academic Integrity Policy (the link is to a PDF of the recent policy). You can find a Douglas College library PDF here on how to avoid plagiarism.

The College library has handouts on citations, and their website has plenty of detailed information on citing and sourcing. The OWL site at Purdue University is also an excellent resource for information on how to avoid plagiarism and on MLA and APA documentation.

Classroom Etiquette

While I want students to feel free to discuss almost anything in class, please 1) put up your hand if you have a question or comment, 2) avoid profanity, and 3) be diplomatic when responding to the ideas of other students

Electronic Devices

- Don’t use cellphones, tablets, or computers during class. Take notes by hand (this might be helpful practice, since you'll need to write neatly in the mid-term and final exams).

 - Make phone calls in the hallway.

- If you’re expecting an important call or message, or if you’re an emergency contact, please tell me about it before class.

- Students who need to use laptops to take notes must have a letter from Accessibility Services.

Counselling and the accessibility centre are in S 4600.

Side Conversations

Please give your undivided attention while someone’s talking and during lectures. Side conversations can be distracting to other students and are especially distracting to teachers. The occasional brief comment to your neighbour is fine, but any sort of sustained conversation will lower your participation mark. 


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Introduction - Contents - Outline

SCHEDULE: Week 1-7 - Week 8-14

Readings PDF: 2-4 - 5-6 - 8-10 - 11-13