Description and Goals
Eavan. Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our
Time. New York: Norton, 1995.
Eavan. Outside History: Selected Poems 1980-1990. New
York: Norton, 1991.
Dana, ed. 100 Great Poets of the English Language. New
York: Pearson, 2005.
description: An intensive study of the short poem, including theoretical
statements on the genre ….
aims of this course are:
accomplish these aims through the study of representative poems spanning
five centuries. Along the way we'll read critical statements by Samuel
Johnson, William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot.
We'll also read the contemporary Irish poet Eavan Boland's autobiographical
reflections on the "historic vocation of the poet" in Object Lessons--and
examine her own contribution to the lyric as a genre in Outside History.
As a complement to our in-class discussions, you'll produce a series of
brief critical commentaries (due regularly throughout the semester) and
a comprehensive essay (due late in the term). Finally, you'll take
two tests, which will include passages for identification and analysis.
a historical survey of the lyric in English,
a theoretical understanding of the lyric as a literary genre,
a critical appreciation of the genre, including a vocabulary of terms and
the analytical and interpretive skills appropriate to the study.
participation (10%). You'll be participating
actively in this course if you attend class regularly (missing only for
official, College-sponsored activities or for emergencies), meet all deadlines,
and demonstrate your engagement in the course by contributing valuably
to in-class discussions and by scoring consistently well on reading quizzes.
It is unlikely that you will receive full credit for participation if you
miss more than two weeks of class. It is the Department's policy
that anyone missing more than three weeks of class (six classes) for any
reason will fail the course. Understand that the Department does
not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences.
Commentaries (30%). A critical commentary
of at least 350 words is due each Friday, beginning January 19, unless
otherwise noted on the calendar. There will be 10 altogether, with
the last one due Wednesday, April 4. Poems assigned but not discussed
in class must be the subject of at least half of these commentaries.
Paper (30%). A paper of 2000-2500
words is due Friday, April 13.
Test (10%). There will be a midterm
test with passages for identification Friday, March 2.
Exam (20%). TBA
B=80-89; C=70-79; D=60-69; F=0-59
to revision--updated January 10)
Reading assignments in 100 Great Poets include the biographical
headnotes. For poets whose names appear by themselves, you are to
read entire selections (unless otherwise instructed). Those are the
poets whom we'll be studying in class. Time permitting, we'll discuss
additional poems on Fridays. In any case, you should learn these
poems too--and make at least some of them the subjects of commentaries.
1 (January 8-12)
meeting Friday, January 12
2 (January 15-19)
meeting Monday, January 15
Marlowe, "The Passionate Shepherd"
#1 due Friday
3 (January 22-26)
Johnson, from "The
Life of Cowley"
S. Eliot, "The
Herrick, "Delight in Disorder," "Upon Julia's Clothes," "To the Virgins,
to Make Much of Time"
#2 due Friday
4 (January 29-February 2)
Vaughan, "The Retreat," "They Are All Gone into the World of Light!"
#3 due Friday
5 (February 5-9)
Burns, "A Red, Red Rose," "Bonnie Doon"
#4 due Friday
6 (February 12-16)
Wordsworth, "Preface to Lyrical Ballads"
#5 due Friday
Gras Break (February 19-23)
7 (February 26-March 2)
Byron, "She Walks in Beauty"
Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias," "Ode to the West Wind"
8 (March 5-9)
Waldo Emerson, "Concord Hymn"
Barrett Browning, "How Do I Love Thee?"
Allan Poe, "The Raven," "Annabel Lee"
Browning, "My Last Duchess"
Arnold, "Dover Beach"
Charles Swinburne, "The Garden of Proserpine"
#6 due Friday
9 (March 12-16)
Figure a Poem Makes"
Hardy, "The Darkling Thrush"
Manley Hopkins, "God's Grandeur," "The Windhover"
E. Housman, "To an Athlete Dying Young," "With Rue My Heart Is Laden"
Arlington Robinson, "Richard Cory"
Laurence Dunbar, "Sympathy"
#7 due Friday
10 (March 19-23)
Carlos Williams, "Spring and All," "The Red Wheelbarrow"
H. Lawrence, "Snake"
Pound, "In a Station of the Metro," "The River-Merchant's Wife: a Letter"
Retrospect"--Including "A Few Dont's"
D. [Hilda Doolittle], "Oread"
Jeffers, "Shine, Perishing Republic," "Hurt Hawks"
St. Vincent Millay, "First Fig"
Owen, "Dulce et Decorum Est"
E. Cummings, "next to of course god america i"
#8 due Friday
11 (March 26-30)
Hughes, "A Negro Speaks of Rivers," "Harlem"
Thomas, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"
Brooks, "We Real Cool"
Larkin, "This Be the Verse"
Ginsberg, from Howl
#9 due Friday
12 (April 2-6)
Boland, from Outside History and Object Lessons--TBA
#10 due Wednesday
meeting Friday (Easter Break)
13 (April 9-13)
meeting Monday (Easter Break)
from Object Lessons
14 (April 16-20)
15 (April 23-27)