Voyages to Otherworld: Tolkien, the Romantics, & Poetry of the Sea - Ages 12-14
In this 13-week online course, students will read and analyze 11 poems describing imaginative or maritime journeys to enchanted lands.
New on Outschool
Once per week
over 13 weeks
learners per class
per learner - per class
How does a “Multi-Day” course work?
Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries
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Imram is an Irish word for an ancient genre where a hero goes on a sea voyage, encounters various trials and obstacles, and returns home to tell his or her tale. Often, such heroes journey to a mythic otherworld, full of fantastic surroundings and creatures. Accordingly, this genre has a long association with myth, mystery, and mysticism. Its emphasis on the natural world appealed to the romantic poets, who prized emotional experience and saw nature as its gateway. Other kinds of romantic...
By the end of this class, students will be able to: • Define the imram genre • Explain the key features of romanticism • Describe the key features of otherworld • Explain the role of the sea in the poetic imagination • Identify a poem’s rhyme scheme • Analyze poetic devices, images, and themes • Incorporate poetry analysis into essay writing • Create proper in-text citations and works cited
I have a bachelors and masters in English and graduate certificate in Digital Humanities from Texas A&M University, where I worked for two years as a graduate assistant teacher and researcher. I have also worked as a freelance tutor for learners from elementary through college level, and I have many years of volunteer experience working with and teaching children in extracurricular activities. While many people find poetry analysis dry and tedious, I thrive on it. One of my goals as a TA was to make the exercise less daunting to my students, showing them that it's not so different from reading prose. Students told me I broke things down for them and made them easier to understand. My masters thesis was titled "Endurance and Hope: Christian Heroism in Tolkien's Legendarium." I examined the interplay between Tolkien's fiction, his scholarship, his faith, and the old Germanic stories he loved so much. I have also written on Tolkien's work on mythology, fairytales, and medieval literature.
Before class, students will: • Read the poem listed for that week • Prepare a response to that week’s discussion question, posted in the Outschool classroom This should take about 1 hour per week.
Students must have a copy of the following books, all by J.R.R. Tolkien: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book, ISBN 978-0-00-755727-1 We will use this book throughout the semester. You might think of it as the primary textbook. The Fellowship of the Ring We will use this book only for “The Song of Eärendil” (1 week), so I suggest borrowing it from the library or finding the poem online. Sauron Defeated: The History of Middle-earth Volume 9 We will use this book only for “The Death of St. Brendan” and “Imram” (2 weeks), so you may want to check it out from the library. Used copies range anywhere from $9 to $25.
Assessment is through class participation, response to the weekly discussion questions, and the final paper. There are a total of 140 possible points in this class. Each week, students can earn 5 points for participation and 5 for their discussion response (that’s 10 per week, for a total of 120). The paper is worth 20 points. I will post full details of class grading policies in the Outschool classroom. Letter grades correspond to the following point values: A: 126-140 B: 112-139 C: 98-111 F: 0-110
45 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
Many of the poems in this class deal with themes of loss, mortality, guilt, or disillusionment. In particular, some learners may find the psychological imagery of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “The Sea-Bell” disturbing, though not to the point of distress. There is no violence or adult content. I will be available at any time (within reason) to answer questions and give support, either emotional or intellectual.
The following provide source material for the course, either directly or indirectly. I won't explicitly reference all of these in class, and learners only have to read what I have listed in the course description. Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (text of 1834).” Poetry Foundation, 2022. www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43997/the-rime-of-the-ancient-mariner-text-of-1834. Keats, John. “Ode to a Nightingale.” Poetry Foundation, 2022. www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44479/ode-to-a-nightingale. Tolkien, J.R.R. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book. HarperCollins, 2014. ---. The Fellowship of the Ring. Ballantine Books, 1983. ---. The Monsters and the Critics: And Other Essays, edited by Christopher Tolkien. HarperCollins, 2006. ---. Sauron Defeated: the End of the Third Age: the History of the Lord of the Rings, Part Four, edited by Christopher Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin, 1992. ---. The Silmarillion, edited by Christopher Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin, 2004. “William Butler Yeats.” Poetry Foundation, 2022. www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/william-butler-yeats Yeats, William Butler. “The Man Who Dreamed of Faeryland.” Poetry Verse. www.poetryverse.com/william-butler-yeats-poems/the-man-who-dreamed-faeryland.
Rebecca Baumgarten, MA
The Wonder of Words
🇺🇸Lives in the United States
2 completed classes
My name is Rebecca Baumgarten. I hold a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Texas A&M University, focusing on the fiction and scholarship of J.R.R. Tolkien. The class year on my Aggie Ring (2020) is the average of my two graduation years: 2019...