How does a sonnet live on after Shakespeare? How is the ballad form a political expression for the working poor? What does mock epic poetry have to do with consumer culture? This course is a survey of British poetry from the Restoration period to beginning of the 20th century, with an emphasis on the 18th and 19th centuries. We will study how forms like the epic, ode, pastoral, and elegy are reinvented over the course of two centuries. Key themes will be memory, sex, the sublime, and revolution. Poets will include: Milton, Dryden, Rochester, Behn, Finch, Pope, Swift, Gray, Goldsmith, Wordsworth, Shelley, Coleridge, Byron, Blake.
For this class you will write two short essays (2-3 pages) and one comparison essay (6-8 pages) and complete a midterm exam as well as a creative, final group project.
* note: For Tuesday's first class (8/29/23) there is no assigned reading, but if you have time to watch the film The Favourite (2018) by Yorgos Lanthimos, its depiction of the queer Queen Anne, played by the luminous Olivia Colman, will inform our discussion of the ballad poem we will read together in class