This course begins with an introduction to the major poetic genres of the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuries, a period encompassing much of neo-classicism and Romanticism. We then will turn more particularly to the first-person lyrics of this era. The questions we will pursue include the following: Why is the eighteenth-century considered to be a period of "minor" poetry, and does such a valuation arise from a concept of poetry already shaped by a Romantic sensibility? What issues of description and expression are continous and discontinuous during this period? How does the cultural work of lyric change? By looking at such changes, can we begin to limn a history of the emotions? Students will write two short papers--one involving close reading of an individual work and the other formulating a concise research problem--and essays for mid-term and final examinations.