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.