Poetry Appreciation - 101 Sonnets and more!

Ref: C2339097

What is a sonnet? Poets have written sonnets since the sixteenth century, and they may have begun as a kind of song. They also look like a small square on a page, and they offer a unified way of expressing their meaning. This course will start to explore the sonnet through Don Paterson's wide-ranging anthology, '101 Sonnets'. We may find others we like, and some people might want to try writing one. We might also look at Paterson's own '40 Sonnets'.

Course aim

The sonnet form was imported to England from Italy in the sixteenth century. This course will look at the sonnet and explore Don Paterson's anthology, '101 Sonnets'.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Describe the sonnet form and identify a sonnet.
  • Analyse a sonnet and talk about how the form and content complement each other.
  • Compare sonnets with other forms of poetry.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You will be asked to study some sonnets in the books before each meeting.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • You will need a copy of Don Paterson's '101 Sonnets', published in 2002 by Faber and Faber, and if possible a copy of his book of his own sonnets, '40 Sonnets'. Please bring a notebook and pen.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • If possible, read Paterson's introduction to sonnets in his anthology before the first session.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full Course information sheet

Poetry Appreciation - 101 Sonnets and more!


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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