Where Can I Find Free Online Poetry Classes?

MIT offers several free online poetry classes, many of which focus on a particular time period or poetic style. These undergraduate courses do not award credit. Schools offering Creative Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You can develop and expand your knowledge and appreciation of poetry with free online poetry classes like those featured below. Offered by an accredited college through Open CourseWare (OCW), these non-credit courses are typically self-paced. Most require a PDF reader and include links to various suggested readings.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT offers several OCW courses that originated as for-credit courses taught to undergraduates on campus. You won't receive credit for the courses or feedback from instructors or classmates, but you can download course materials, assignments and exams for free and set your own study schedule.

What Will I Learn?

Each poetry course focuses on a particular time period, style, or even a specific poet of great influence. Modern Poetry introduces works by some of the 20th century's greatest poets, concentrating on the 1918-1940 period between the two World Wars. The Studies in Poetry: From the Sonneteers to the Metaphysicals course covers prominent 16th and 17th century English poets and selected love poems. For Studies in Poetry: 20th Century Irish Poetry: The Shadow of W.B. Yeats, you will study the works of the preeminent Irish poet in question and examine his impact on other Irish poets, particularly female poets. Each course examines how poets are influenced by the social and cultural concepts during their time.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

Literature courses typically assign essays as assignments, and poetry courses are no exception. Each course will provide the guidelines for writing essays to analyze poetry from the course. Some also outline other assignments, such as memorizing a poem or preparing an oral presentation on a poetry-related topic. However, you will not receive feedback from instructors for completing any assignments listed.

What Materials Are Provided?

As many poems are available online, many courses include links to a good portion of the reading material. PDF resources, whether of poems or background reading on important concepts may also be included. Some courses include samples of completed assignments, such as analytical essays or student-written sonnets. If course reading is not available for free, a list of texts is included so that you may find the reading material on your own.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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