Poetry: Donne to Milton
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00-4:30 P.M.
Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Library, sixth floor,
Instructor's office: Department of Special
Collections, 6th floor, Van
Phone: 215 898 7088; fax: 215 573
My idea is to
present certain emblematic poems I care about deeply and to offer
strategies for reading these poems. My readings are meant to be
instructive and suggestive, not definitive, since poems are endlessly
interpretable. There is always something about them that evades the
understanding . . .
Edward Hirsch, How to Read a Poem: And
Fall in Love with Poetry, DoubleTake Books (New York: Center for
Documentary Studies, in association with Harcourt Brace and Company,
Reading poetry from the later English Renaissance, we consider five
poets from this period, John Donne, Ben Jonson, George Herbert, Andrew
Marvell, and John Milton. Some of their poems seem knotty and crabbed to a
modern taste. Others appear highly polished, as if all they have to say
sits in plain view on their surface. Still others require knowledge of
contemporary politics and related issues. Some demand attention to a
specifically Christian religious perspective. All differ from
contemporary poetry. They even differ from poetry characteristic of the
immediately preceding and following periods.
Their writers challenge our expectations. They expect us to
learn how to read them. They are not always "theoretically
up-to-date." Occasionally, they even think that they write, not about the
vagaries of language, but rather about topics that they imagine to be
literally of ultimate importance. For them, poetry is still (as it
no longer always seems to us) a vehicle for discourse about "truth." And
for some of them, truth (as it no longer always seems to us) is
knowable. Indeed, it is already known.
One other thing they have in common. Whether or not we always agree
with their views, the demands they make, as we learn how to read them,
will make us better readers: better readers not only of these poets but
also of other poets, other writers. Reading them teaches us how to
attend to language, meter, form, and content: a transferable skill.
The instructor took no other course in his four years in college that he
remembers as well as this course -- and none from which he learned more
about how to read.
Two important caveats:
virtues it may have, that style of "close reading" is by no means
unobjectionable. One very brief critical comment about it is found in
a recent essay:
Vincent B. Leitch, "Personal Retrospective on
Changing Paradigms from the 1960s to 1990s,"
Massachusetts Review, 40:1 (Spring 1999), 44-59
Underlinings in the passage below
additions for purposes of emphasis.
To interpret as a New Critic . . . is to demonstrate by means of
multiple rereadings and retrospective analyses of short individual
canonical poetic texts the intricacy of highly wrought artistic forms,
whose meanings consist not in extractable propositions or paraphrasable
contents, but in exquisitely orchestrated textual connotations, tones,
images, and symbols, intrinsic to the literary work itself preconceived as
an autonomous and unified, dramatic artifact separate from the lives of
the author and reader as well as from the work's sociohistorical milieu
and its everyday language. In order to display the complex equilibrium,
special economy, and internal purposiveness of the well-wrought verbal
icon (i.e., the ideal literary work), the New Critic invariably takes
recourse in paradox, ambiguity, and irony, which are pragmatic rhetorical
instruments used to harmonize any and all textual incongruities so as to
There is, of course, a lot to criticize in this dense and powerful
mid-century reading formation still referred to honorifically as both
"practical criticism" and "close reading." This type of textual
explication remains for many critics not only a valuable norm, but, even
for its professed enemies, a main method of classroom teaching and
professional demonstration. For the record, it dogmatically rules out
or just plain ignores so much, including most notably personal response,
social and historical context, ethical and political critique,
institutional analysis, and "meaning." It devalues the experience of
reading -- that is, the special unfolding and risky temporal flow -- by
calling for multiple retrospective analyses in the search for mandatory
textual unity and spatial form through which means literature gets turned
into impersonal sculpture, icon or urn, freestanding and
[51/52] monumentalized, meriting thereby critical adulation and
special treatment. Let me recall, however, that the mid-century
threats of ascendant academic science and social science, in part,
prompted this severe sacralization of literature into a distinctive
and miraculous discourse worthy of its own special department of study.
Also concerned with issues
similar to those Leitch raises in the passage above -- and also very short
-- is an essay by Peter J. Rabinowitz: "Against Close Reading," in
Pedagogy Is Politics: Literary Theory and Critical Teaching, ed.
Maria-Regina Kecht (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992), pp.
230-243. Both essays would repay your close attention.
In fact, the
instructor hopes you will keep such criticisms in mind as this course
proceeds. Towards the end of the semester, or during it -- perhaps
informally, and if the spirit moves you -- you will want to comment, in
the light of such criticisms, about how its approach worked -- and how
it did not work -- for you.
(2) Second, if what you expect is a "survey" of seventeenth-century
English poetry, this class will not live up to your
expectations. It is more or less exclusively concerned with only five
poets and ignores many others who might equally merit your attention.
Thomas Carew, Phineas Fletcher, Lord Herbert of Cherbury (our Herbert's
brother), Robert Herrick, Henry King, Richard Lovelace, Katharine Philips,
Francis Quarles, Thomas Stanley, John Suckling, Thomas Traherne, Henry
Vaughan, Lady Mary Wroth: around these names, and many more, a completely
different course could easily have been constructed. What you're
not seeing in this class is hinted at in Alastair Fowler's
anthology, The New Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse (Oxford
University Press, 1991) [PR1209.N49.1991], H. R. Woudhuysen's
Penguin Book of Renaissance Verse: 1509-1659 (Penguin, 1992)
[PR1205.P46.1992], and Marian Wynne-Davies's Women Poets of the
Renaissance (Routledge, 1999) [PR1177.W64.1999]. Picking up and
reading in (or even through) one or another of these anthologies would be
well worth your while.
It may be worth adding here that poets in this
period were certainly not all religious poets. The collected poems
of Sir George Etherege (ed. James Thorpe) or Lord Rochester (several
recent editions) would (both of them) be instructive -- surprisingly
instructive -- in this respect. So, a bit earlier, would be Thomas Nashe's
"A Choise of Valentines" (in Nashe's Works, ed. R. B. McKerrow,
rev. F. P. Wilson).
As you may have begun to notice, the instructor writes syllabi that are
very detailed -- over-detailed -- about the courses he teaches.
Read this section now to avoid surprise, disappointment, or
horror later. No one has to take this class who doesn't want to take
it. If you do take it, however, you should know what you're in for.
The instructor expects students to read, in addition to the poems
themselves, some historical and critical works. A few are among the
books and works required for this course. Recommended additional readings
of this kind appear in the syllabus below, along with some background
books about poetry itself.
"Recommendations" are recommendations. "Background" is background.
These books are not covert requirements. They are listed here
because the instructor, laboring under the quaint illusion that they might
be useful to you, hopes you will read as much and as many of them as you
can. "Hopes" -- not "expects," not "requires." Hopes.
All "requirements" are specified in the weekly readings
Study of Renaissance English poetry (study of literature generally, in
fact) is, in one sense, an ongoing conversation between people with vastly
different points of view, from many different countries and cultures, and,
now, speaking to one another across several centuries. Any course can
offer an opportunity to sample that conversation, which, in its often odd
way, can be one of the pleasures of the study of literature. You might as
well begin to taste that pleasure, as well as the pleasures of the writers
themselves, now. The amount of writing on early English poetry is vast.
The instructor has tried to recommend a few (usually short) essays he
thinks (1) might be useful, instructive, and readable; (2) reflect both
older and more recent approaches to the poems; and (3) won't harm you.
Use the notes to the poems when you find them necessary. Try
not to let them distract you from your reading when you don't
find them necessary.
Renaissance English is modern. It is not the Old English of
Beowulf. It is not the Middle English of Chaucer's Canterbury
Tales. It is, however, early modern English. Present-day
readers meeting it the first few times can find its differences from our
own English confusing. As the semester progresses, you will find
yourselves increasingly familiar with Renaissance English. If you have
previously studied Shakespeare or Renaissance English poetry, drama, or
prose, you may already be partially familiar with it: its vocabulary,
forms of usage, syntax and word order, and its ability (often masked by
modern spellings) to use single words to mean things we use several words
to mean. When in doubt, in addition to using the notes, read the poem
aloud. (It will become less embarrassing after a while.)
When still in doubt, the single best resource for readers of
English-language works is the Oxford English Dictionary.
OED is available to Penn students through the Library's website, as well as in its various
printed forms. This dictionary does provide you with simple "definitions."
Also -- and much more importantly -- it offers historical
definitions, a record of how a word has been used over time.
These, and not just "the definition," are what you want to learn to use
when you use OED. This information allows you to see the range
of different usages and meanings any given word might have made available
to someone using it during the seventeenth century in addition to
its primary, obvious, or present-day denotative value(s).
You also have access to a special library within Van Pelt, the Furness
Memorial [Shakespeare] Library (6th floor). Furness has many additional
dictionaries, guides, and studies specifically devoted to study of
Shakespeare and of his contemporaries, including
contemporary poets. Dictionaries of slang and of erotic or sexual terms
(often found in love poetry) are likely to prove particularly useful.
(Those of you who have read Shakespeare will already know why.) These
materials do not circulate. They are always there for your use.
Several online resources to assist the study of early English writing
exist. Some of them are even good. See, e.g., Maggie Secara's Compendium of Common
Knowledge 1558-1603: Elizabethan Commonplaces for Writers, Actors, and
Re-enactors; and other resources found on the instructor's website
under history, literature, online
texts, and online journals.
This course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:30 P.M.
in the Edgar Fahs Smith Room on the sixth floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich
As has been noted at the top of this syllabus, the instructor's office
is in the Department of Special Collections (also on the sixth floor of
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library). You can reach him there by telephone (215 898
7088) or in person at that location. Call before showing up; he is
not always at his desk. You can communicate with him as well by e-mail at
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING
This class will work through discussion rather than lectures. Your
attendance and your participation will make a difference in
its success--and in your grade. Ground rules: talk; interrupt; open your
mouths. Be polite. Do not let politeness get in the way of making
This course will require six short papers, each of about one to
three pages. "Short papers" means SHORT! They are due at intervals specified in the
class schedule below. A longer final paper -- a take-home exam,
in effect -- of about ten to fifteen pages will be required at the end
of the semester. The instructor will assign all topics. They are
not up for choice. You can expect occasional unannounced
quizzes on the readings. The instructor plans to schedule no final
examination. Some additional points:
- Death (preferably yours) is the only acceptable excuse for
lateness. The instructor has tired of killing off grandparents
whenever papers are due.
- In general, the instructor appreciates good
writing. He will look with disfavor upon essays, whether short or
final papers, that are poorly written. Writing will affect your
grades. Sloppy writing normally means sloppy thinking.
- Grades will be based on a combination of paper and quiz grades and
classroom attendance and participation.
NOTE: Some material will
be distributed in photocopy ("bulkpack"). Books to be purchased are
available at the Pennsylvania Book Center, at the corner of 34th and
- Julia Briggs, This Stage-Play World: Texts and Contexts
1580-1625, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press paperback)
- John Donne, The Complete English Poems of John Donne, ed. A.
J. Smth (Penguin paperback)
- Margaret Edson, Wit (Boston: Faber & Faber paperback)
- George Herbert, Poems and Other Writings, ed. Ann Pasternak
- Ben Jonson, ed. Ian Donaldson (Oxford University Press
- Andrew Marvell, ed. Frank Kermode and Keith Walker (Oxford
University Press paperback)
- John Milton, The Riverside Milton, ed. Roy C. Flannagan
- Students unfamiliar with Christianity -- one of the world's
major religions, with which many of the poets we read are significantly
concerned in their poems, and about which many students, of any and all
backgrounds, know nothing -- should probably read, from the Bible,
the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and St. Paul's Epistle to the
Romans. Other Pauline epistles would also be helpful. These books appear
in that part of the Bible that follows the (Jewish) Old Testament and the
(controverted) Apocrypha, in the part, that is, usually called the New
Testament. Recommended translation: the Authorized Version, usually
called, in the United States, the King James Bible. If you can find
a copy, and find it readable, the Geneva Bible -- an important
English-language translation until the A.V., or King James Bible, appeared
in 1611, and the version known by Shakespeare -- won't hurt you.
- The bookstore has ordered a few copies of A. G. Dickens,
The English Reformation, 2nd ed. (Pennsylvania State University
Press paperback). Reading this book will provide useful background,
particularly for students unfamiliar with the period's religious
- The instructor also recommends:
- any recent short
history of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, not just in
- any recent short discussion of English Puritanism
and the English Civil War
Even if you just
read the articles on these topics in the Encyclopedia Britannica, that will
be MUCH better than nothing.
intellectual background, two short books, both of them old, might
nonetheless prove useful supplements to Julia Briggs
- first, E. M. W. Tillyard, The Elizabethan World
Picture (Vintage paperback);
- and second, C. S. Lewis, The
Discarded Image (Cambridge University Press paperback).
- A very few books about poetry might be worth
consulting during the course of the semester. These include:
- Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, Understanding Poetry: An
Anthology for College Students, 4th ed. (Harcourt Brace paperback) --
alas, at a price beyond "outrageous"!
- Paul Fussell, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form, rev. ed. (Random
- Edward Hirsch, How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love with
Poetry, DoubleTake Books (New York: Center for Documentary Studies, in
association with Harcourt Brace and Company, 1999)
- Timothy Steele, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing: An
Explanation of Meter and Versification (Ohio University Press
If he puts any books on reserve in the Rosengarten Reserve Room
(Van Pelt Library), the instructor will distribute separately a list of
them. However, students should be aware of the Furness Memorial Library on
the sixth floor of Van Pelt, where many of the books for this course will
be found. Circulating copies are found mainly on the third floor of Van
SCHEDULE OF CLASSES AND READINGS
Week 1--September 9
Week 2--September 14 and 16
Introduction to the
- Tuesday: John Donne, "Songs and
Sonnets," pp. 42-70 (concentrate on "Air and Angels," "The
Anniversary," "The Apparition," "Break of Day," "The Broken Heart," "The
Canonization," "The Computation," "The Damp," "The Ecstasy," "A Fever,"
"The Flea," "The Funeral," "The Good Morrow," "The Indifferent," "A Jet
Ring Sent," "A Lecture upon the Shadow," "The Legacy," "Lovers'
Infiniteness," and the six "Love's . . . " poems)
Donne, "Songs and Sonnets," pp. 70-92 (concentrate on "A Nocturnal
upon S. Lucy's Day" [this is a hard poem -- give it some extra
work], "The Primrose," "The Prohibition," "The Relic," "Go, and catch
a falling star," "Sweetest love, I do not go," "The Token," "The Sun
Rising," "The Triple Fool," "A Valediction: forbidding mourning," "The
Will," "Woman's Constancy")SHORT PAPER
"Air and Angels" juxtaposes ideas about
physical bodies, ethereal spirits, and the nature of human love. What is
the impact of "some glorious nothing" (line 6) on your understanding of
this poem? How does the word "nothing" work in the rest of the poem?
Week 3--September 21 and 23
- Izaak Walton wrote a "life" of Donne that
appeared in the mid-seventeenth century; it has been frequently
- Cleanth Brooks writes about "The Canonization" in The
Well-Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structures of Poetry (1947, et
seq.), a brief section of chap. 1
- Eileen Reeves writes
about "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" in "John Donne and the Oblique
Course," Renaissance Studies, 7:2 (June 1993), 168-183
Mueller, "Women among the Metaphysicals: A Case, Mostly, of Being Donne
For," in Critical Essays on John Donne, ed. Arthur F. Marotti (New
York: G. K. Hall, 1994), pp. 37-48
A scanned facsimile of the University of Pennsylvania copy
of the first edition of Donne's Poems, by J.D. with Elegies on the
Authors Death (London: Printed by M.F. for John Marriot, and are to
be sold in his shop in St Dunstans Church-yard in Fleet-street,
1633) can be found on the SCETI
- Tuesday: Donne, "Satires"; "Verse
- Thursday: Donne, "Elegies"SHORT PAPER 2:
How do images
of the seasons, months, and time in general assist the exposition of
Donne's theme in "The Autumnall"?
How do geographical
images assist the exposition of Donne's theme in "To His Mistress Going to
Week 4--September 28 and 30
- T. S. Eliot, "The Metaphysical Poets" (often
reprinted; in, e.g., his Selected Essays)
- Clay Hunt writes
about Elegie 19 in Donne's Poetry: Essays in Literary Analysis (New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1954), pp. 16-31
- Achsah Guibbory,
"'Oh, let mee not serve so': The Politics of Love in Donne's
Elegies," in Critical Essays on John Donne, ed. Marotti, pp.
QUIZ -- 30 SEPTEMBER
- Tuesday: Donne, "Divine Poems"
(concentrate on the "Holy Sonnets," "Good Friday, 1613. Riding
Westward," "A Hymn to Christ, at the Author's last going into Germany,"
"Hymn to God my God, in my Sickness," and "A Hymn to God the
- Thursday: Donne, "Epicedes and Obsequies"
Class will begin with a short quiz on
Week 5--October 5 and 7
- Clay Hunt writes about "Hymn to God my God, in
my Sickness" in Donne's Poetry, chap. 4
- Louis L. Martz,
"Donne and the Meditative Tradition," Thought, 34 (1959), 269-278
(reprinted in, e.g., Essential Articles for the Study of John Donne's
Poetry, ed. John R. Roberts [Hamden, CT: Archon, 1975])
F. Marotti, John Donne, Coterie Poet (Madison: University of
Wisconsin Press, 1986), chap. 1
- Tuesday: Donne, "An Anatomy of the
World: The First Anniversary"
- Thursday: Donne, "Of the
Progress of the Soul: The Second Anniversary"SHORT PAPER 3:
As is also
true elsewhere in Donne's poetry, the "Anniversaries" make heavy use of
scientific imagery. Such imagery allows Donne to place the death of young
Elizabeth Drury within a cosmic context, making her death serve as a
signifier of the literal "frailty and decay of this whole world"
and the "incommodities of the soul in this life." Discuss the ways in
which the first and second "Anniversaries" use such imagery: are they
similar? do they seem to treat "the scientific world" in the same ways and
for the same reasons? Or do they differ, and, if so, how? Are these poems
equally successful/unsuccessful? Remember: this is a SHORT paper. Since you cannot say
everything, you must be very picky about what you do choose
Week 6--October 12 and 14
- Frank Manley, "Introduction" to his edition of
Donne's "Anniversaries" (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,
- Carol M. Sicherman, "Donne's Timeless Anniversaries,"
University of Toronto Quarterly, 39 (1970), 127-143 (reprinted
in Essential Articles, ed. Roberts)
- Ronald Corthell,
"The Obscure Object of Desire: Elizabeth Drury and the Cultural
Production of 'the Idea of a Woman,'" Ideology and Desire in
Renaissance Poetry: The Subject of Donne (Detroit: Wayne State
University Press, 1997), chap. 4
- Tuesday: Ben Jonson, "Epigrams,"
"The Forest," through page 75 (concentrate on "Epigram" 133, "On
the Famous Voyage," and "The Forest" 2, "To Penshurst"; but we will
discuss several other poems, as well)
- Thursday: Jonson, the
rest of "The Forest," "from The Underwood," and "Miscellaneous Poems"
(concentrate on "The Underwood" 85, "The Praises of a Country
Life," and "Miscellaneous Poems" 6, 8, 9, 11; but we will discuss several
other poems, as well)
Week 7--October 19 and 21
- G. L. Hibbard, "The Country House Poem of the
Seventeenth Century," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld
Institutes, 19 (1956), 159-174 (reprinted in, e.,g., Essential
Articles for the Study of Alexander Pope [Hamden, CT: Archon Books,
- Don Wayne, Penshurst: The Semiotics of Place and the
Poetics of History (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984),
- Tuesday: George Herbert, The
Temple, from "The Printers to the Reader," "The Dedication," and "The
Church-Porch," through "Grace"
- Thursday: Herbert, The
Temple, from "Praise (1)" through "The Quip"SHORT PAPER 4:
one image that you can trace through several of Herbert's poems in
The Temple and show how its use (varies and deepens) OR
(remains static and fails to become interesting) (CHOOSE ONE) as a
reader moves through the poems.
Week 8--October 26 and 28
- Izaak Walton wrote a "life" of Herbert that
first appeared in the mid-seventeenth century; it has been frequently
- Random Cloud [i.e., Randall McLeod], "Enter Reader," in
The Editorial Gaze: Mediating Texts in Literature and the Arts, ed.
Paul Eggert and Margaret Sankey, Comparative Literature and Cultural
Studies, vol. 2 (New York: Garland, 1998), pp. 3-50 [NOTE: McLeod will deliver the Rosenbach Lectures in
Bibliography at Penn on October 25, 26, 27, and 28 -- that is, next week.
Details will follow.]
- Tuesday: Herbert, The Temple,
from "Vanitie (2)" through "The Pulley"
- Thursday: Herbert,
The Temple, from "The Priesthood" through "L'Envoy"
Week 9--November 2 and 4
- Stanley Fish, "Letting Go: The Dialectic of the
Self in Herbert's Poetry," in Self-Consuming Artifacts: The Experience
of Seventeenth-Century Literature (Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1972), pp. 156-223
Week 10--November 9 and 11
- Tuesday: Andrew Marvell, poems from
"An Elegy upon the Death of my Lord Francis Villiers" to "An Epitaph upon
Frances Jones," pp. 1-50 (concentrate on ""Bermudas," "The Nymph
Complaining for the Death of her Fawn," "To his coy Mistress," the Mower
poems [pp. 40-45], "The Garden")
- Thursday: Marvell, poems
from "Flecknoe" through "The Loyal Scot," pp. 77-120 (concentrate
on "An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland," "The First
Anniversary of the Government under His Highness the Lord Protector,
1655," "A Poem Upon the Death of his Late Highness the Lord Protector,"
and "On Mr. Milton's 'Paradise Lost'")
and several required
scholarly and critical essays: Blair Worden, "The Politics of
Marvell's Horatian Ode," The Historical Journal, 27 (1984),
525-547; Cleanth Brooks, "Marvell's 'Horatian Ode,'" English Institute
Essays, 1946 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1947), pp. 127-158;
Douglas Bush, "Marvell's 'Horatian Ode'" [a response to Brooks],
Sewanee Review, 60 (1952), 363-376; and Cleanth Brooks, "A Note on
the Limits of 'History' and the Limits of 'Criticism'" [a reply to Bush],
Sewanee Review, 61 (1953), 129-135 -- NOTE: William R. Keast
reprinted the three Brooks, Bush, and Brooks essays (with the titles I
follow here) in Seventeenth Century English Poetry: Modern Essays in
Criticism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962), pp. 321-358 (but
they appear only in Keast's 1st edition, not in his 2nd
This is the only week during this semester
when critical and scholarly works have been, not simply "recommended," but
actually required -- and several of them, at that. These
works concern the poet's and the reader's relationship(s) to the facts (if
that is the right word) of history. Focusing your discussion on Marvell's
"Horatian Ode" and these essays, discuss the matter of the relationship(s)
between poetry and history, its/their importance (or non-importance), and
explain why you reach whatever conclusion about it you reach.
- Tuesday: Marvell, "Satires of the
Reign of Charles II," pp. 121-156
- Thursday: "Upon the Hill
and Grove at Bilbrough" and "Upon Appleton House," pp. 50-77
Week 11--November 16 and 18
- John Coolidge, "Marvell and Horace," Modern
Philology, 43 (1965), 111-120 (reprinted in Andrew Marvell: A
Collection of Critical Essays, ed. George de F. Lord, Twentieth
Century Views (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968)
J. K. O'Loughlan, "This Sober Frame: A Reading of 'Upon Appleton House,'"
in Andrew Marvell, ed. Lord
- Rosalie L. Colie, "'Upon Appleton
House': A Composite Reading," "My Ecchoing Song": Andrew Marvell's
Poetry of Criticism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970),
part IV (pp. 181-294)
- Michael Wilding, Dragons Teeth: Literature
in the English Revolution (Oxford, 1987), chap. 5
- Earl Miner,
"The 'Poetic Picture, Painted Poetry' of The Last Instructions to a
Painter," Modern Philology, 63 (1966), 288-294 (reprinted in
Andrew Marvell, ed. Lord)
- George de F. Lord, "Introduction,"
Poems on Affairs of State: Augustan Satirical Verse, 1660-1714 (New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1963)
- Tuesday: John Milton, "On the
Morning of Christ's Nativity," "Sonnet 1," "On Shakespeare," "On the
University Carrier" and "Another on the Same," "L'Allegro," "Il
Penseroso," "Sonnets 7-23," "On Time," "Upon the Circumcision," "At a
Solemn Music," "A Mask (Comus)," "Lycidas" (and, although it is not a
poem, also read Areopagitica)
- Thursday: Milton,
- John Guillory, "The Father's House: Samson
Agonistes in its Historical Moment," in Re-membering Milton: Essays
on the Texts and Traditions, ed. Mary Nyquist and Margaret W. Ferguson
(New York: Methuen, 1987), pp. 148-176
Week 12--November 23 and 25
We will have no classes this
- NOTE: November 25 is
- THE INSTRUCTOR MUST BE AWAY; CLASS WILL NOT MEET AT
- You would be
VERY well advised to read straight through Paradise Lost this week
-- ALL OF IT -- in preparation for our first meeting next
Week 13--November 30 and December 2
- Tuesday: Milton, Paradise
- Thursday: Milton, PL,
Long poems are often thought to be somewhat
less amenable to the critic, scholar, or reader whose analytical
techniques work well with short lyrics. Yet Milton's long epic certainly
uses many poetic techniques found in short lyrics as well. BRIEFLY compare and contrast the ways in which
Milton depicts the fall, first, of Eve, and, second, of Adam, with an eye
on the techniques he uses in each section.
Week 14--December 7 and 9
- Stanley Fish, Surprised by Sin: The Reader
in Paradise Lost (1967; 2nd ed. 1998)
- Tuesday: Milton, PL,
- Thursday: Milton, Paradise Regained;
AND conclusion of course
A final paper is due on Monday, December
20. This is, in effect, a take-home final. THE EXAM CAN
BE SEEN HERE.
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