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2009/10 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3369 Poetry, Language, Thought

20 creditsClass Size: 40

English

Module manager: Dr Ian Fairley
Email: i.a.fairley@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2009/10

Pre-requisite qualifications

Grade B at 'A' Level in English Language or Literature or equivalent or an achieved mark of 56 or above in a Level 1 module in English.

This module is restricted to Level 3 students.

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

In this module you will read three major twentieth-century poets whose work asks us to question and possibly to re-imagine the relationship between words and the world. We shall attend to poems written in, or translated from, the English of Wallace Stevens, the French of Francis Ponge, and the German of Paul Celan. The representational challenge of their poetry invites an inquiry into translation both as a 'bearing across' between languages and as a process internal to the poem itself. This focus will offer a point of departure for engagement with significant critical and philosophical accounts of Stevens, Ponge and Celan from the middle of the last century to the present day.

Objectives

This module will enable students to acquire a critical understanding of the poetry and poetics of Wallace Stevens, Paul Celan and Francis Ponge, three major twentieth-century poets writing in English, French and German. In reading these poets, students will also learn to engage with significant critical and philosophical accounts of poetic language from the middle of the twentieth century to the present day.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.

Skills outcomes
Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
Critical reasoning.
Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
IT skills.
Time management and organisational skills.
Independent learning.


Syllabus

Wallace Stevens proposed that 'The poem must resist the intelligence / Almost successfully' ('Man Carrying Thing'). This module engages with Stevens and two other poets whose work asks us to think about, and possibly to reimagine or re-experience, the relationship between words and the world they represent. We shall begin and end in the English of Stevens (1879-1955), and between we shall explore poems in, and translated from, the French of Francis Ponge (1899-1988) and the German of Paul Celan (1920-70). In one way or another each can be considered a twentieth-century poet of 'resistance'. This focus will present an opportunity to read the poems of Stevens, Ponge and Celan in relation to critical and philosophical accounts of poetic language contemporary with them. Our study will be informed by an interest in translation both as a 'bearing across' between languages and as a process internal to the poetry of each poet. In discussion we shall reflect on questions of lyric subjectivity and objectivity, the poet's address to self and other, the poem's standing as a 'thing', the materiality of words, private language, and other related concerns. Above all, this module offers the occasion to read poems closely and to attend to the reading experience.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Meetings51.005.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Teaching will be through weekly seminars (10 x 1 hour) plus up to 5 additional hours (content to be determined by the module tutor). The 5 additional hours may include lectures, plenary sessions, film showings, or the return of unassessed/assessed essays.

Private Study: Reading, seminar preparation, essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar contribution.

1st assessed essay.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,700 words33.30
Essay2,750 words66.70
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/07/2010

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