Lady Gregory

November 17


Each student will be responsible for:

--Making two detailed and professional oral presentations to the class:

1) You will serve as "discussion leader" for one "focus poem" (see focus poems listed on syllabus, above; I will provide you with a schedule for focus poem presentations early in the semester). This means you must memorize and scan the poem (we will discuss basic scansion in class), research its process of composition (if information is available) and the allusions and references in the poem, and finally, recite the poem from memory and present it to the group. This assignment also includes a "focus poem paper" assignment (see below).

2) You must also present a ten-minute long "background report" on a historical event, a literary or artistic or cultural movement, a related author, a critical approach to Yeats, etc. I will provide a list of suggested topics, though I am open to other suggestions that address your interests.

Remember that the guidelines for making effective oral presentations include preparing in advance, finding interesting things to say, talking directly to your audience, and not going over the suggested time limit.

--Preparing a detailed explication of one poem to accompany your focus poem presentation (see above). Your focus poem paper will present your explication, which should involve such specific things as poetic meter, rhyme, syntax, unusual and foreign words, allusions, geographical references, and any particular difficulties the poem involves, including Yeats's revisions of the poem.

--Writing a paper (7-10 pages) on some feature of the earlier poems and plays. We will discuss topic choices early in the semester.

--Writing a longer term paper (approximately 15 pages) on a topic of your choice (though I will be happy to make suggestions). You should begin thinking about your topic as soon as possible. You must e-mail or hand in a 150-200 word proposal describing your proposed topic on or before November 10.

--Writing weekly response papers that include: 1) your own responses to the reading for each class; 2) a brief summary and response to any critical articles or books you read; 3) responses to questions and/or writing suggestions I may give you at the end of class periods; 4) response to one of the "focus poems" listed for each week's reading. Refer to the handout on "Weekly Response Papers " for more information about this important assignment.

I would like to receive all papers -- including weekly writings -- electronically, through e-mail or in my "drop box" in my Bucknell public space. Papers should be prepared in Microsoft Word format. If this presents any problems for you, please let me know early in the semester.


Paper 1 Due: October 20
Final Paper Due: December 10
Weekly Responses
Due: Every Sunday, via e-mail
Oral Presentation Schedule to be determined 10%
Focus Poem Project
Schedule to be determined 10%


Note that there is no percentage of the grade listed above for class participation. Class participation is CRUCIAL in a seminar, is taken for granted by the instructor, and will be an important part of your final, overall grade. Everyone must be present every week for such a class to work well; any absences will lower your grade in this course. Missing one three-hour seminar meeting is the same as missing a week of classes; if you absolutely must miss a class, you must contact me or another student in the seminar to find out what you missed and what assignments are due the next week. More than two unexcused absences will result in an automatic grade of F for the seminar!

LATE PAPERS: Weekly writings cannot come in after the seminar meets each week; any weekly writing turned in after midnight on Sunday will receive a late penalty. Unexcused late papers will go down one grade level (+/-) for every day they are late. I will not allow extensions on oral presentations.

If you need to speak with me outside of my scheduled office hours, you can call me at 577-1424, e-mail me at, or leave a message for me with the English Department academic assistant at 577-1553. My home phone is 523-7784.