Eng 197, Winter 2007

Metaphysical Poets

A generation after Shakespeare, a group of brash young poets boldly set out to reinvent English literature. Arguing that poetry had become boring and bloated—an endless, mindless repetition of classical references and tired themes—they attempted to shock the world with something entirely new. And shock it they did. When writing about love, for example, they not only penned some of the most beautiful poetry that has ever been written, but they did so openly and audaciously: in a single poem John Donne not only unflinchingly gave our words “sex” and “ecstasy” their modern meanings, but forever yoked the two. This course will introduce the major themes of the poetry of Donne, Herbert, Marvell, Vaughan, and others.

“Please rate the overall quality of the instructor’s teaching”

Average rating: 4.9 of 5 (♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent; ♣♣♣♣ Very Good; ♣♣♣ Good; ♣♣ Fair; ♣ Poor)

♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent class and teacher. Fun.

♣♣♣♣♣ Loved the format, explicating poetry as opposed to historical minutiae. Wonderful class!

♣♣♣♣♣ He was an excellent professor. I was extremely impressed and my only disappointment is that he is not teaching any courses this spring quarter! I would recommend him to anyone. I learned so much in this class.

♣♣♣♣♣ This class was exactly what an English course should be. It challenged me to think about material I was familiar with in new ways. Probably one of the best classes I’ve taken.

♣♣♣♣♣ Ken was one of the best, if not the best, instructors I’ve had through the English department. He is extremely knowledgeable and obviously has a wide range of expertise on the metaphysical period. I thoroughly enjoyed everything we read as well as the discussions.

♣♣♣♣♣ Professor Hiltner is great. He is very open to ideas and never shoots a student down. He has an excellent grasp of the subject matter. I also appreciate his effort to allow one on one interaction. I really enjoyed this course.

♣♣♣♣♣ This was a fantastic course! Ken is very good at initiating deeply analytical discussions and getting the class to lead/participate much more than he does. We are all very interactive due to his prompts. He is knowledgeable and passionate about the works and is very available outside of class.

♣♣♣♣♣ I really appreciate his interest in and concern for students doing well and enjoying the course. He is very good at facilitating an interactive and enlightening class discussion. I feel that I have taken away an important understanding of the metaphysical poets beneficial to an English major.

♣♣♣♣♣ Really enjoyed the class. When in lecture mode it at its best, concern over getting to know the students was appreciated, course material interesting.

Unrated. As a professor, Hiltner was a success, and it showed that he was knowledgeable in the material. He was interactive and made the subject matter interesting. He was understanding, nice and intelligent.