The class will read selections from the works of poets beginning with Dryden and ending with Larkin. We will focus on the developments in subject, form, and style which accompany and reflect the changing social contexts in which these poets worked. Since rhyme and meter are so important to most of them, students will try their hands at writing samples in several common forms, as the most effective way of learning how the poets used formal technique to deliver the poetic punch; the results won't hurt your grade but could help it. Everyone who finishes the course should possess the skills for reading any poem from any era with insight and sensitivity. Expect close readings, three short papers, a midterm, and a final.