This course aims to make the book itself an object of interpretation and a means for understanding Romantic Poetry and Poetics. Rather than being conducted as a survey course in which students read a few poems by many writers, this course will read 5-6 writers in depth; we will read them, furthermore, in the exact forms in which they were read by their peers, paying particular attention to how poems within specific collections speak to one another and deepen each other's meaning. In addition to reading the collections, we will thoroughly acquaint ourselves with the careers of each writer we read, with how their books were received and reviewed, and with the contexts in which they published their books.
I plan to choose 5-6 of the primary texts listed below for the course; but I invite students to make known to me if they have any preferences: Anna Letitia Barbauld, *Poems* (1773); Robert Burns, *Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect* (1786); Charlotte Smith, *Desmond* (1792); William Blake, *Songs of Innocence and Experience* (1794); Samuel Coleridge, *Poems* (1797); Samuel Coleridge, *Fears in Solitude* (1798); William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, *Lyrical Ballads, with a few other Poems* (1798, 1800); Mary Robinson, *Lyrical Tales* (1800); Charlotte Smith, *Beachy-Head, and other Poems* (1804); William Wordsworth, *Poems, in Two Volumes* (1807); Lord Byron, *The Prisoner of Chillon and other Poems* (1816); Samuel Taylor Coleridge, *Christabel, Kubla Khan, and the Pains of Sleep* (1816); Percy Bysshe Shelley, *Posthumous Poems* (1824); John Keats, *Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and other Poems* (1820); Felicia Hemans, *Records of Woman* (1828). Please email me by July 2008 if there's a book you particularly wish to read; and please don't be shy. There will be a short paper, a presentation, a final paper, and a final exam.