Day School: Literature - Ted Hughes - Notions and Images of Nature

Ref: C3740111

This course by a widely published poet, and indeed a 'disciple' of Ted Hughes, looks at the early presentation of the poet's native Yorkshire countryside, and then at his reading of Eastern European poets of the Soviet era to develop work in the tradition of nineteeth century Realism.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

This course by a widely published and prize-winning poet is about the work of the English poet Ted Hughes, It deals with this conception of nature along broadly 'darwinian' lines, and the distinctive imagery with which he presents his view.

Who is the course for?

What topics will this course cover

The course will be devoted to close readings of individual poems from different parts of Hughes' life. We will look at his early nature and animal poems set in Yorkshire, and his return to this theme in his later poems, but we will also look at the political and mystical Hughes who wrote under the influence of, and translated, poets of Eastern Europe during the soviet ear. Time will also be devoted to his method of composition, his use of formal and free verse, and his inspired use of imagery to stretch the reader's mind beyond the immediate representations of the poem.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

1. State the main tenets of 'realism' and show how they describe Hughes' poetry. 2. Give an analysis of the main features of Hughes's versification with examples of both free and metrical forms. 3. Illustrate the ways in which Hughes' was influenced by Eastern European poets such as Poppa or Holub. 4. Exemplify Hughes' descriptive skills.

How will I know I'm making progress?

The course will be run primarily through discussion led by the tutor who will assess and give feedback in the course of this. Socratic method. From any work they are asked to be in preparation for a particular class. From small scale exercises given in class. Through emails to me between classes, if desired.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

Any copy of Hughes' poems.

Reading and information sources

Any of Hughes' poems. Any poems (in translation) by Vasco Poppa and Miroslav Holub

What could the course lead to?

Degree in English Literature. Creative Writing. Reading circle.

Download full course outline

Day School: Literature - Ted Hughes - Notions and Images of Nature Course Outline


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  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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