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British Poetry 1660-1914

ENGL 040.001
MWF 10-11

An introduction to major British poets of the last three centuries. The goal of this course is to make you an effective reader of modern poetry. To do this, we will work our way through selected poems from the Augustan, Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist traditions. We will consider formal aspects of poetic expression (sound, shape, meter, imagery, and wordplay) as well as changing ideas about a poems capacity to apprehend the world around us. Students in this course will develop abilities to read and interpret poetry, an understanding of its genres, a sense of the way that form, content, and context contribute to literary meaning, and skills to write effective essays. While some attention will be given to the cultures in which poems were written, our primary concern will be to read these texts closely and carefully. No prior training in how to read poetry is necessary. Class participation, two papers, a midterm, and a final.