Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Love and Marriage, and Poetry

ENGL 469.640
Thursdays 5-8:00 pm

In this course we will study the works of poets who were in long-term
relationships: Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Sylvia Plath
and Ted Hughes; Jane Kenyon and Donald Hall; Adrienne Rich and Michelle
Cliff; and Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. These brilliant poets often
wrote about each other, about the pleasures and challenges of love over the
long term, and about the inspiration--and the competition--offered by their
partners. Through feminist and queer theory, biography (including love
letters), and poetics, we’ll look at the institution of marriage as it has
transformed from the 1800s through the 1960s through today.