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 continuous and discontinuous during this period? How does the cultural work of lyric change? 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.