This unit of study is an introduction to the reading, analysis and performance of poetry. It aims at both immersion in the creativity and playfulness of poetic language and to teach coherent ways of thinking appreciatively and critically about this. Students will be introduced to basic skills in critical method and to vocabulary relevant to the study of poetry in its various forms. There will be an emphasis both on the formal elements and the varieties of poetry and the social and cultural contextual influences upon these: theoretical questions arising from this will be considered. There will also be some emphasis on the ways in which a sympathetic understanding of a poem can inform a successful oral presentation of it. Students will be encouraged to consider the complex transactional processes involved in responding to and performing texts and discussing them with others. The poems covered will range from the traditional to the contemporary, with significant reference to the recent resurgence of youth-oriented and 'new wave' poetry writing, reading and performing in Australia: this includes attention to 'spoken word' poetry and the poetry of popular song lyrics.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Utilise basic skills in critical method and vocabulary relevant to the study of poetry in its various forms;  
  2. Articulate theoretical questions arising from analysis of the formal elements and varieties of poetry;  
  3. Recognise and respond to different genres of poetry by performing and discussing them with others; and  
  4. Negotiate literary representations of diverse cultures by studying particular literary texts.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Essay Close reading essay 30%
Essay Critical essay 50%
Presentation tutorial presentation and 400 word paper 20%
Total equivalent word count is 3000 words

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