Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Major British Poets, 1660-Present

ENGL 040.910
TR 4:30-7:40

This course will cover most canonical British verse since the Restoration. Our central goals: to read as much poetry as possible, as carefully as possible, to learn the intricacies of form and genre, to gain a sense of different poetic movements--Neo-classicism, Romanticism and Modernism chief among them. With this last goal in mind, we will consider especially the tendency of poets to fixate on (and, typically, to idealize) earlier periods as a means of defining their own historical moment. Along the way, we will encourage quite a parade of issues, from the familiar and concrete to the abstract and foreign: the station of women, colonialism, industrialization, sexual desire, revolution, the relation of subjectivity to objectivity. Readings will draw upon the following authors: Milton, Dryden, Pope, Swift, Finch, Wheatley, Gray, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, the Brownings, Tennyson, Hardy, Yeats, Eliot, Auden and Lackin.