Making Sense of Poetry

Ref: C2225561

We will explore ways in which poets use specific techniques to encourage readers to respond to a poem's deeper meanings. We will look closely at elements such as speaker, setting, sound effects, figurative language and poetic form and identify how such effects are contributing to a poem's meaning. Students will also learn how to be aware of placing poems in their historical and biographical context, as a way of gaining further insights into how meaning is conveyed. Poems will be chosen across a wide range of writers and Periods.

Course aim

To explore ways in which poets use specific techniques to encourage readers to respond to a poem's deeper meanings and to encourage an awareness of placing poems in their historical and biographical context.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The course is for those who delight in reading poetry and would like to enrich this experience by engaging with it in more specific detail.

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

  • Recognise a range of poetic forms, such as sonnet, ballad, ode, lyric
  • Engage with specific poetic techniques, such as alliteration, metaphor, simile, metonym, synecdoche
  • Recognise ways in which the effects of the above techniques contribute to a poem's meaning
  • Place poems in their historical, cultural and biographical context
  • Acquire a language with which to discuss 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 may be invited to read a few poems prior to each Class

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • You might like to read poems from an Anthology, eg 'The Oxford Book of English Verse', 'Palgrave's Golden Treasury' or the work of a poet you admire, in order to get a feel of ways in which you respond to poems over a range of historical periods.

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

Making Sense of Poetry

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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