This course aims to introduce two periods of English poetry marked by dramatic transformations in poetic theory and practice--the Romantic (roughly 1790-1830) and the Modernist (roughly 1900-1940). In the first half of the semester, we will read major Romantic poets--William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats--as well as poets who have only recently begun to enter the "canon"--Mary Robinson, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, and Charlotte Smith. In the second half, we will read, among others, Thomas Hardy, W.B. Yeats, Edith Sitwell, and T.S. Eliot, and will sample the work of American expatriates--Ezra Pound, H.D., and Gertrude Stein. We will explore the cultural contexts that, in both periods, generated calls for envisioning anew our relationship to the word and the world. Frequent, short analytical papers will encourage careful readings of individual poems, as well as provide fuel for class discussion. A midterm and a longer paper will likely be required.
Note: Majors seeking to fulfill the usual English 202 requirement in alternate way may to so with *two* courses dealing with British poetry of the three periods covered by 202: 18th-century or "Augustan" poetry; Romantic and/or early 19th-century poetry; Victorian poetry and/or early-modern British poetry. This substitution must be approved by your English faculty advisor and/or the Undergraduate Chair. English 202 is generally not to be counted within the concentration; exceptions can be--and are often--granted by request.