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Study information

The Poem

Module titleThe Poem
Module codeEAS1038
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Professor Tim Kendall (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Despite its strong oral traditions and origins, poetry is the origin of all written literature. It is the base on which all that literature - drama, novels, non-fiction prose - is built. Many of its formal elements are used in common and rhetorical speech. This module is designed to introduce you to the mechanical aspects of poetry and to its history; in addition, it offers you insight into the history and influence of important poetic eras, as well as into how understanding of it may be enriched by literary theory. By the end of the module, you will have a firm grounding in the poem as a form and as a literary force.

Module aims - intentions of the module

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

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Identify and distinguish formal aspects of poetic texts
  • 2. Apply this knowledge to interpretation of poetic texts
  • 3. Describe at a basic level the range of poetic texts and the nature of poetic traditions from the classical period to the present
  • 4. Discuss theoretical issues arising from the analysis of poetic form

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

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

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Demonstrate basic communication skills
  • 9. Through essay-writing, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and write clear and correct prose
  • 10. Through research for essays, demonstrate basic proficiency in information retrieval and analysis

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction to Studying Poetry
  • Form
  • Rhythm
  • Rhyme
  • Metaphor
  • Punctuation
  • Allusion
  • Theory
  • Modernism
  • Contemporary Poetics

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 Teaching16.5Seminar (11 x 1.5 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Lecture (10 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study22Study group meeting and preparation
Guided Independent Study51Module preparation (individual)
Guided Independent Study50.5Reading, research and essay preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation15 minutes1-8,10Feedback 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
Examination502 hours1-7, 9-10Written feedback
Essay401000 words1-7, 9-10Written feedback
Module Participation10Continuous1-8, 10Optional discussion with tutor

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExaminationExamination1-7, 9-10Referral/deferral period
EssayEssay1-7, 9-10 Referral/deferral period
Module ParticipationRepeat Study or mitigation1-8, 10N/a

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 6th edition, ed. Margaret Ferguson, Tim Kendall and Mary Jo Salter (Norton, 2018)
  • 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.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

English, literature, poem, poetry

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date