We will read romantic and Victorian poets, seeking to discover and appreciate key aspects of poetry and criticism from 1789 through the nineteenth century. This is an opportunity to read poetry of dazzling beauty and variety which held a central place in cultural and intellectual history. Major poets may include William Wordsworth, William Blake, S.T. Coleridge, Percy Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lord Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, and G.M. Hopkins. We may also pay attention to poems and prose by Anna Barbauld, Dorothy Wordsworth, Mary Robinson, John Clare, Felicia Hemans, Lewis Carroll, D.G. Rossetti and Thomas Hardy. Throughout the course we will do close reading of texts with some attention to versification, in order to understand how poems contain and transform individual ideas and historical realities. There will be three short papers (3 to 5 pages) and a longer paper (8 to 10 pages) at the end of the course. English 40 will be completely online, to be taken at your computer, with regular web-cast classes on Thursday evenings and discussions of poems on an asynchronous basis.