Rachel Blau DuPlessis
English 835: Survey of Anglo-American Poetry

Temple University
English Department, Graduate Program
Fall 2003

English 835: Survey of Anglo-American Poetry
Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 3:00-6:00; Place: 1138 Anderson Hall
Instructor: Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Office Hours: Tuesdays before class 12-3 in 1024 Anderson, and by appointment in 954 Anderson or 1024 Anderson. Phone: 215-204-1810; e-mail: rdupless@temple.edu. Also 1024 Anderson and phone 215-204-3014 (Director of Creative Writing).

Course description: A graduate level study of issues in poetry and poetics, combined with a survey of important genres, their texts, and their critics. The course is designed to have you read some key work of poets central to a sense of Anglo-American traditions--interpreting the word "traditions" broadly and widely--so that you become familiar with such genres and modes of thought as the sonnet, the elegy, the pastoral, the ode, the satire, the lyric. Special emphasis on poetry as a material text, including the editorial production of that text, and the issue of sound and the auditory imagination. The issues the course will raise include the nature and history of poetic form (poetic diction and convention, genre, meter); intertextualities and poetic representation; the relations among form, subjectivity, and ideology (including class, gender, perhaps religious culture); the construction of authorship. Readings in poems are sometimes complemented by some suggested reading in contemporary critical writing relevant to these poetic texts. Five shorter papers, two on an older texts and one on genre or mode in contemporary poetics, one a write-up of a report, and one a take-home "final." This course has a lot of agendas: introductory (to poetry), historical, generic, textual (bibliographic), textual (close reading), and the general question of the cultural work accomplished in any poem.

Prerequisites: All students must be matriculated graduate students in the English Department, M.A. or Ph.D. programs.

Primary Texts: All have been ordered at Temple Bookstore, Student Activities Center.

The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Shorter Fourth Edition, ed. Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, Jon Stallworthy. Norton, 1997.

John Hollander, Rhyme's Reason: A Guide to English Verse [1981], Yale University Press, 2001.

Lisa Robertson, XEclogue. Vancouver: New Star Books [1993], 1999.

Lee Ann Brown, The Sleep That Changed Everything. Wesleyan UP, 2003.

Charles Bernstein, With Strings. Chicago UP, 2001.

Necessary books and materials on reserve are listed below. I will also give several "guidelines"-instructions and design specs for papers, and a handout on issues in poetry (the latter a familiar one for 790 students). I've done my best to select pertinent articles; if something changes, I will alter the syllabus. Incidentally, some of these critical readings are difficult, challenging, We will all do the best we can with them. Don't back off, but don't be too hard on yourselves if it takes a while to feel as if you are beginning to get it.

Reading Assignments should be completed before coming to class. While most are in the Norton, the other required readings are on "Blackboard"-a web-based course file. Thus, in order to access the course readings, you must have a Temple University e-mail account. In fact, all Temple students are required to have a Temple email account. Even if this is not your account of choice, you must get one in order to do course readings. Students will also be asked to provide focused class participation; I may assign topics on a round-robin basis. There are often many more poems assigned for a day than will be discussed in class. I have done this to give you a sense of groupings of poems, to incite you to look into certain texts on your own, and to inspire papers. I've also done this so you can read in depth in these poetic traditions.

Responsibilities of every student: to have read, as completely as is plausible, the texts for that week. If there is a problem of any kind, please e-mail me. Other things "Blackboard" can provide for us is an instant course listserv. We might have occasion to use this. I am not sure whether I want papers on-line or not. I don't care whether you print out readings so long as you have read them. A few things may be on reserve. On reserve means at Paley Library, Main Desk.

Disability: Students with need for accomodations based on the impact of a documented disability should tell me, and, to help coordinate reasonable accomodations, should also contact the Office of Disability Services (100 Ritter Annex) at 215-204-1280 or see the Temple University website at http://www.temple.edu/disability/

Participation: This is a graduate course. You should neither miss class nor be late. Missing even one class is cause for my serious, invasive concern and may lower your grade. Lateness is unacceptable. Students will have one chance to do an in-class presentation. It is crucial that students be well prepared for their reports, and they might possibly be prepared to share certain written work (announced later). You should see me at least once during the semester (office hours or by appointment) to discuss your work in the course.

Writing Assignments and Requirements: a total of 5, divided as follows: 3 shorter papers, 1 close reading, given as a presentation in class (oral report and notes to me), 1 take-home final (written as a working paper). The take-home final is due on the last day of class. Due dates are as follows:

1) There will be three formal essays (approximately 8-10 pages each). Of these three shorter papers, two will be on an older text and some critical frame and one on genre or mode in contemporary poetry and poetics in relation to genre/mode in "earlier" materials. For the latter papers, I have ordered three recommended books. Other books can be used with my permission, so long as the contemporary writer is engaged with the relevant issues of genre or mode germane to this course. I have offered some specific topics keyed to readings and issues. The papers will be meditative, critical and/or scholarly. They might involve some application or consideration of the ancillary critical readings. They might be close readings or ideologically invested readings. The papers can be written in any tone of voice you fancy (including use of the pronoun "I"), with any mixture of genres that seems pertinent. You can even write an essay-poem. The only rule is that the papers must perform interesting and pertinent analyses on the general topics of the course. A few other design specifications for these papers will be given later. These papers will be targeted as due on September 30, October 21 and November 18. The only exception is if you happen to be giving a report on one of those dates. Then your paper will be due the next class; your working notes will be due that day.

2) The close reading you give will have working notes; you'll hand these in to me the day you give your report. Structure these notes top down-main points, arguments are front-loaded. Then suggest examples. This is like writing an exam. Flexible due date (that is, this depends on when you give an oral report; working notes are due the day you give the report).

3) There will be a take-home "final," due as a working paper on the last day of class, and written using the critical resources for that day. The question is "What is poetry?" Due December 2.

Learning Outcomes: graduate level reading, speaking and writing skills will be modeled, acquired, and reinforced. The topic on which these skills will be tested is the history of Anglo-American poetry. You might learn other things, beyond what is required to be specified by bureaucracy.

Evaluation and Grading: it is not really appropriate in graduate courses to offer a percentage breakdown for grading, especially as growth is expected during the semester. However, there are 5 tasks to do (aside from general course participation); you might therefore think of each as roughly 20% of the grade. In all graduate courses, along with the final grade, instructors are required to write an evaluative report on every student. This report goes in your file, which is kept by the program in which you are matriculated. You will receive a copy of these comments from me at the end of the semester, along with your grade. You have access to this part of your file (but not to your admissions packet with its confidential letters). If you are curious what other instructors have said about you, or if you want to check that all instructors have submitted these letters in a timely fashion (sometimes not a bad idea), see whomever is the Creative Writing secretary, or Belinda-Wilson Hagins, Graduate Program. If you are receiving financial aid, it behooves you to check whether all letters have come in from the prior semester.

Furthermore, in all graduate courses, you have an opportunity to evaluate the instructor on University-mandated forms that are distributed in class at the end of the semester. (Your evaluations are not seen by the instructor until after grades are filed; instructor gets encoded copies only.)

Syllabus/Schedule of Readings:

Week I: 2 September 2003
Introduction to the Poem: Language, Text, Literary Form, Social Practice--Mediations all. Anglo-Saxon Dictions and Modern Uses.

Required Readings: 1) from Beowulf: "[The Last Survivor's Speech]," ca. 970 C.E., Norton 6-7. (Look at it in Old English)

2) "The Seafarer," Norton 8-11.

3) Ezra Pound, trans. "The Seafarer," 1912, Norton 747-749.

4) Geoffrey Hill, "from Mercian Hymns," 1971, Norton 1027-1029.

5) Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, "The Soote Season," 1557, Norton 96.

6) Gerard Manley Hopkins, "Felix Randal," 1918, Norton 663-664.

7) Ezra Pound, from The Cantos, Canto I, 1921, Norton 754-756.

8) Richard Wilbur, "Junk," 1961, Norton 929-930.

Ancillary Readings: The Anglo-Saxon text of The Seafarer from The Exeter Book, ed. George Philip Krapp and Elliot Van Kirk Dobbie. New York: Columbia University Press, 1936: 143-47.

The Seafarer from The Earliest English Poems: A Bilingual Edition, ed. and trans. Michael J. Alexander. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970: 98-105.

The Seafarer from The Exeter Book: Part II: Poems IX-XXXII, ed. and trans. by W. S. Mackie. London: Early English Text Society/ Oxford University Press, 1934: 2-9.

Steve McCaffery, "Lastworda," Theory of Sediment. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1991.

Critical Reading: Alvin A. Lee, "Word O er Fand: The Inwardness of Kennings," from Gold-Hall and Earth-Dragon: Beowulf as Metaphor. University of Toronto Press, 1998.

Week II: September 9, 2003
Issues in Textual Editing and Presentation; Petrarchan and Ovidian Love Poetry

Required Readings: 1) Thomas Wyatt, "They Flee from Me," Norton 91 and "The Love Showeth How He is Forsaken of Such as He Sometime Enjoyed," Norton 91-92. "Whoso List to Hunt," Norton 89-90. "The Long Love, That in My Thought doth Harbor," Norton 89.

2) "The Printer to the Reader" from Tottel's Miscellany (both black-letter and modernized versions). On reserve

3) Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey [this poet is called Surrey], "Love, That Doth Reign and Live Within My thought," Norton 96.

4) John Donne, "The Flea (1633), Norton 186-187.

5) Consult "The Flea," ed. H.J. C. Grierson (1912) and Helen Gardner (1965). On reserve.

Ancillary Readings: Jerome McGann, "Introduction: Texts and Textualities" and "Conclusion," The Textual Condition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991, 3-16; 177-186.

Joseph Grigely, "The Textual Event," from Textualterity. University of Michigan Press, 1995: 89-119.

Petrarch, Sonnet 190, Rime Sparse.

Week III: September 16, 2003
Meter, Rhythm, Line, Rhyme, Diction, Subject Position.

Students choose one mode _________.___________,____________

Student analytic descriptions and working definitions of the following modes. We won't have time for student reports on all, but you are welcome to write on any of the following poetic traditions. What kind of speaking subject is created; how are the resources of language and poetic convention deployed to create that speaking subject; who or what is listener inside the poem; where is the gaze; who or what is imagined as the audience; how do the resources of language and poetry position us into audience; do we resist in any way; how are listening and gazing negotiated by us as audience; can we analyze (postulate) a historically different audience than us?

Required Readings: 1) Review "Versification" in The Norton Anthology, 1103-1122.

2) "Doggerel" Traditions. Skelton, "Phillip Sparrow," 1523, Norton 67-70; Mary Leapor, "The Epistle of Deborah Dough," 1746, Norton 372-373; Edgar Allen Poe, "The Raven," Norton 532-34; A.E. Houseman, "'Terence, This is Stupid Stuff...'," Norton 669-670; Contemporary Rap or Dub Poetries (student selection; please include tape or CD with your report). Discussion of the term "doggerel"; is it derogatory?

3) Dialect Traditions. Jean Elliot, "The Flowers of the Forest," 1769, Norton 374; Robert Burns, "To a Mouse," 1785, Norton 398-399; Rudyard Kipling, "Tommy, " 1890, Norton 672-673; Paul Laurence Dunbar, "Little Brown Baby," 1899?, Norton 698-699; Sterling Brown, "Slim in Atlanta," 1932, Norton 820-822

4) Song Traditions. George Gaiscoigne, "Gascoigne's Lullaby," Norton 102-103. William Shakespeare, Songs from the Plays, Norton 166-67; Thomas Nashe, "Adieu, farewell, earth's bliss," Norton 171-172; Ben Jonson, Two Songs to Celia, Norton 198-199. Bring musical settings, if possible, of Jonson and Shakespeare, especially.

5) Blank Verse Traditions: John Milton, from Paradise Lost, "The Verse," and from Book I [The Invocation], Norton 255-256. Ezra Pound, "Portrait d'une Femme," Norton 746-747. Can also read T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land (Part I: The Burial of the Dead and Part II: A Game of Chess), 1922, Norton 773-778; William Wordsworth, from The Prelude, 1798-1800, Norton 407-411.

6) Free Verse Traditions: Walt Whitman, from "Song of Myself," 1855, Norton 591-595, especially sections 1, 6, 24. William Carlos Williams, "Danse Russe," 1917, "The Red Wheelbarrow," 1923, Norton 728-729; Allen Ginsberg, from "Howl," 1955, Norton 958-963, Robert Creeley, "Bresson's Movies," 1982, Norton 957-958.

Ancillary Reading: Northrup Frye, "The Rhythm of Recurence: Epos," Anatomy of Criticism, New York: Atheneum, 1966: 251-262.

Writing possibilities. Do further work with the questions of subjectivity, listener, audience in relation to these poems, or other poems.

Week IV: September 23, 2003
Issues in Narrative Poetry: Ballad

Required Readings: 1) Early Modern Ballads, Norton 70-83.

2) Countee Cullen, "Incident," 1925, Norton 833.

3) John Keats, "La Belle Dame Sans Merci," 1819, Norton 506-507.

4) S. T. Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," 1798/ 1817, Norton 431-446.

Ancillary Reading. Susan Stewart, "Scandals of the Ballad," Crimes of Writing: Problems in the Containment of Representation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Kenneth Burke, "On Musicality in Verse," from The Philosophy of Literary Form: Studies in Symbolic Action . New York: Vintage Books, 1941/ 1957, 296-304.

Lee Ann Brown, The Sleep that Changed Everything (for her ballads). Not everyone has to read this, just those who might want to write on it.

Writing possibilities.
-Analysis of the relationship of gloss to poem in Coleridge: What voices, genres, discourses, narratives, social meanings are represented by the textual realtion between the marginalia (scholia) and the poem? What is the impact on the reader of the doubling of the story (in scholia and poem), on reading practices, on understanding.
-Comparison of the 1798 and the 1817 versions of the Coleridge poem: what do the differences do to the poem?
-Gender narratives in Coleridge and Keats.
-Read Jerome J. McGann, "The Ancient Mariner: the Meaning of the Meanings," The Beauty of Inflections: Literary Investigations in Historical Method and Theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988. Present and discuss McGann's interpretation of the cultural work Coleridge is doing.

Week V: September 30, 2003
Uses of Pastoral Modes and Psycho-Social Ideologies
First due date: Paper.
Required Readings: Student reporters answer one question with a focused statement--what do you think is the use of pastoral made in this poem or this grouping of poems?

1) Philip Sidney, "Ye Goatherd Gods," 1577-83, Norton 143-45.
Student ______________________

2) Christopher Marlowe, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love," 1599, Norton 155-56; Walter Ralegh, "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd," 1600, Norton 109.
Student _______________________

3) George Herbert, "Jordan (I)," 1633, Norton 222-223. Henry Vaughan, "The Retreat," 1650, Norton 276-77. Student ______________________________

4) Andrew Marvell, "Bermudas," 1681, Norton 270-71; "The Mower Against Gardens," Norton 273-274; "The Garden," Norton 274-276. Student (choose one poem) _______________________

5) William Wordsworth, "Resolution and Independence," 1802, Norton 412-416.

6) William Butler Yeats, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," 1892, Norton 675-76

7) Robert Frost, "Birches," 1916, Norton 702-703; "Directive," 1947, Norton 710-711.

Ancillary Reading: Susan Snyder, "Pastoral and Pastoral Process," Pastoral Process: Spenser, Marvell, Milton. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1998, 1-18.

Lisa Robertson, XEclogue. Not everyone has to read this; just those who might want to write about it.

Week VI: October 7, 2003
Lyric, Poetic Form, Diction, and (Male?) Humanist Subjectivity: The Sonnet.

Required Readings: 1) Edmund Spenser, "from Amoretti," 1595, Norton 129-131

2) Sir Philip Sidney, "from Astrophil and Stella," 1582, Norton 146-149

3) William Shakespeare, "from Sonnets," 1609, Norton 156-162

4) John Donne, "from Holy Sonnets," 1633-35, Norton 190-192

5) John Milton, "Methought I Saw," 1658, Norton 254

6) William Wordsworth, "Composed upon Westminster Bridge," 1807, Norton 416-417

7) Percy Shelley, "Ozymandias," 1818, Norton 469

8) Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "from Sonnets from the Portugese," 1845-46, Norton 520.

9) Dante Gabriel Rossetti, "from The House of Life," 1847-80, Norton 635-626

10) George Meredith, "from Modern Love," 1862, Norton 626-628.

Ancillary Readings:

Antony Easthope, "Poetry and the Politics of Reading," in Re-Reading English, ed. Peter Widdowson. London: Methuen, 1982.

Antony Easthope, "Discourse as Subjectivity," Poetry as Discourse. London: Methuen, 1983, 30-47.

Veronica Forrest-Thomson, "Preface" and "Introduction," Poetic Artifice: A Theory of Twentieth-Century Poetry. NY: St. Martin's Press, 1978:ix-xiv, 1-17.

Recommended, Joel Fineman, "Shakepeare's Sonnets' Perjured Eye." In Chavivia Hosek and Patricia Parker, Lyric Poetry: Beyond New Criticism. Cornell U.P. 1985: 116-131

Week VII: October 14, 2003: Lyric and Time. Secular Time and Gender Issues. Petrarchan and Ovidian traditions

Required Readings: 1) "Fine Knacks for Ladies," Norton 85.

2) Walter Ralegh, "Nature, That Washed Her Hands in Milk," before 1610, Norton 113-114

3) Philip Sidney, "What Length of Verse?" ca. 1580, Norton 145-146

4) Thomas Campion, "My Sweetest Lesbia," 1601; "When to Her Lute Corinna Sings," 1601, Norton 167, 169

5) John Donne, "The Sun Rising," 1633, Norton 178; "The Ecstasy," 1633, Norton 184-185; "The Relic," 1633, Norton 187-88; "Elegy XIX. To His Mistress Going to Bed," 1669, Norton 188-189

6) Mary Wroth, "Song," 1621, Norton 206

7) Robert Herrick, "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time," 1648, Norton 211-212

8) George Herbert, "Virtue," 1633, Norton 223

9) Thomas Carew, "A Song," 1640, Norton 228

10) Edmund Waller, "Song," 1645, Norton 231-32

11) Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress," 1681, Norton 271-72

12) Aphra Behn, "The Disappointment," 1680, Norton 296-300. "To the Fair Clarinda, Who Made Love to Me....," 1688, Norton 300-301

13) Jonathan Swift, "The Lady's Dressing Room," 1730, Norton 316-319. Also "The Progress of Beauty" (available)

14) Mary Wortley Montagu, "The Lover: A Ballad," 1747, Norton 350-351

15) Anna Barbauld, "The Rights of Woman," ca. 1795, Norton 384

16) William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper," 1807, Norton 424-425

17) John Keats, "Ode on Melancholy," 1819, Norton 511-512

18) Christina Rossetti, "In an Artist's Studio," 1856, Norton 642-643

19) William Butler Yeats, "Adam's Curse," 1904, Norton 676-77

20) Dorothy Parker, "One Perfect Rose,"1926, Norton 799-800

Ancillary Reading: Nancy Vickers, "Diana Described: Scattered Women and Scattered Rhyme," Critical Inquiry 8, 2 (Winter 1981): 265-279.

Allen Grossman. Read in "Summa Lyrica," The Sighted Singer: Two Works on Poetry for Readers and Writers. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1992. For example, pp. 211-212, 219-227, 252-254. Not scanned.

Jonathan Culler, Structuralist Poetics: Structuralism, Linguistics and the Study of Literature. Ihaca: Cornell UP, 1975. Chapter 8: "Poetics of the Lyric," 161-188 (and notes).

Critical Essays
-the impact of literary criticism on poetic reputation and canon formation is especially interseting in the case of John Donne as an exemplary "metaphysical" poet. Take two stages of his poetic reputation--the Samuel Johnson, and the T. S. Eliot; complement these with your own, or another's feminist discussion of Donne.
-check out the other poems on impotence (note 3, p. 296) and do a study of them as one unit, discussing Behn's use of pastoral motifs
-Do a study of Juvenalesque satires on the female body (of which Swift's poem is one example). is there some psychoanalytic theory (i.e. Freud on the debasement of the love object) that seems apropos?

Week VIII: October 21, 2003
Lyric and Time. Eternal Time, Religious Hegemony, and Meditative Traditions

Paper due date.

Required Readings: 1) Walter Ralegh, "The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage," 1604, Norton 109-111

2) Aemilia Lanyer, "from Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum," 1611, Norton 172-175

3) George Herbert, from The Temple, 1633, Norton 218-228, with special attention to "Easter Wings," "The Collar," and "Love (III)"

4) Henry Vaughan, "They Are All Gone into the World of Light," 1655, Norton 277-78.

5) Margaret Cavendish, "Of Many Worlds in This World," 1668, Norton 279-280

6) Thomas Traherne, "Wonder," ca. 1665, Norton 290-91

7) Edward Taylor, "Meditation 8," 1684, "Upon a Spider Catching a Fly," ca 1680-82, Norton 293-95

8) Emily Dickinson, poems written 1862-1882, the whole selection in Norton, 629-641

9) Christina Rossetti, "Up-Hill," 1858, Norton 643

10) Matthew Arnold, "Dover Beach," 1867, Norton 621-22

11) Thomas Hardy, "The Convergence of the Twain," 1912, Norton 656-57

12) William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming," 1921, Norton 680

13) Robert Frost, "Design," 1936, Norton 706-07

14) Wallace Stevens, "The Snow Man," 1923, Norton 718; "Anecdote of the Jar," 1923, Norton 721-22; "Of Mere Being," 1955?, Norton 727

15) T.S. Eliot, "from Four Quartets--The Dry Salvages," 1941, Norton 785-791

Ancillary Reading: Sharon Cameron, Lyric Time: Dickinson and the Limits of Genre. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1979. Chapter 5: "Time and the Lyric."

-It is a curiosity of the meditative tradition, especially in the 16-17th centuries that a number of the poets did not circulate their poems during their lifetimes, but were discovered post mortem (this is true of Traherne, Edward Taylor, Emily Dickinson). Discuss the relationships (contradictions?) between meditation and publication.

-Write a paper discussing the discovery and textual consolidation of one of these poets, coupled with an analysis of a poem that might exist in varient form.

-What happens when the relationship between Christianity and poetry is broken?

- Issues about Dickinson's texts and her textual practices are currently of great interest. Taking one or more of the Norton-printed figure out the impact of any variant words as seen in the variorum (three volume) edition, and figure out the visual impact of the text as rendered in Dickinson's own handwritten (holographic) presentation. For the variant words, see Thomas H. Johnson, ed. variorum edition of The Poems of Emily Dickinson in three volumes (The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1955). For the holographic presentation in the little fascicle books Dickinson herself made see R.W. Franklin, ed. The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson in two volumes (The Belknap Press of Harvard University , 1981). Track attention to these materials in recent Dickinson criticism, particularly the essays of Susan Howe, critical book by Martha Nell Smith.

-What does Dickinson say thematically in her work about the business of being female? About femininity, about or around sexuality, the maternal, the girl child.What is Dickinson's relation to the gender materials of the poetic tradition or the positioning of female figures in lyric?

Week IX: October 28, 2003
The Ode


Required Readings: 1) William Collins, "Ode on the Poetical Character," 1746, Norton 369-71

2) William Wordsworth, "Ode; Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood," 1802-04, Norton 417-422

3) S. T. Coleridge, "Dejection: An Ode," 1802, Norton 446-449

4) John Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode to Psyche," "Ode on a Grecian Urn," 1819, Norton 508-513

5) Walt Whitman, "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,"1856, Norton 596-600

6) D.H. Lawrence, "The Ship of Death," 1932, Norton 743-746

Ancillary Readings: Paul H. Fry, "Introduction: The Man at the Gate," The Poet's Calling in the English Ode. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980.

Jonathan Culler, "Apostrophe," The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction. New York: Cornell University Press, 1981.

Selected odes from Horace and Pindar

Week X: November 4, 2003
Sound and Excess

Required Readings: 1) Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Kubla Khan," 1797-98, Norton 428-29

2) Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind," 1820 Norton 471-73

3) John Keats, "To Autumn," 1819, Norton 513-514

4) Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Mariana," 1830, "The Lady of Shalott," 1831-32, "The Lotos-Eaters," 1832, Norton 535-544

5) Lewis Carroll, "Jabberwocky," 1871, Norton 644-646

6) Algernon Charles Swinburne, "Chorus from Atalanta in Calydon," 1865; "A Forsaken Garden," 1876 Norton 648-651

7) Sidney Lanier, "The Marshes of Glynn," 1878, Norton 659-662

8) Gerard Manley Hopkins, "God's Grandeur," 1877; "The Windhover," 1877; "Pied Beauty," 1877; "[As Kingfishers Catch Fire...]," 1882?; "[Carrion Comfort]," 1885, Norton 662-665

Ancillary Reading: Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text, trans. Richard Miller . New York: Hill and Wang, 1975, 3-24.

Charles Bernstein, With Strings. Not everyone has to read this; just those who might want to write about it.

Critical Writing. -Poetry--"approaching the condition of music" (a symbolist criterion). What does this mean? What is the "condition of music"? What does it mean to call poetry "musical" or "music-like"--what effects are being noted?

-Here is a definition from Roman Jakobson, "What is Poetry?" "Poeticity [poeticalness, I would say] is present when the word is felt as a word [as a signifier] and not as a mere representation of the object named or outburst of emotion [as a signified], when words and their composition, their meaning, their external and inner form acquire a weight and value of their own, instead of referring indifferently to reality." in Language in Literature, ed. Krystyna Pomorska and Stephen Rudy (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1987), p. 378. Here is another. (Jakobson, "Grammatical Parallelism and Its Russian Facet," op. cit., p. 145): ". . . on every level of language the essence of poetic artifice consists in recurrent returns." Discuss with reference to any two of these poets.

-What are the pleasures of texture, surface, the superficial? What are the drawbacks of surface? Discuss the proportion of "meaning" to material/stuff/poetry codes (meter, rhyme, sound) in two poets grouped under the rubric of "sound."

-Sidney Lanier wrote on sound in poetry. What did he say? Is it of interest in analyzing this poetry--his or the poetry of others?

Week XI: November 11, 2003

Required Readings: 1) Ben Jonson, "On My First Son," 1616, Norton 193-94

2) John Milton, "Lycidas," 1637, Norton 232-237

3) Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," ca. 1742-50, Norton 366-369

4) Percy Shelley, "Adonais," 1821, Norton 478-489

5) John Clare, "Badger," 1835-37, Norton, 492-93

6) Walt Whitman, "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," 1859, Norton 602-606

Ancillary readings: Peter M. Sacks, "Interpreting the Genre: The Elegy and the Work of Mourning," The English Elegy: Studies in the Genre from Spenser to Yeats. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985, 1-37.

Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, "Mourning or Melancholia: Introjection versus Incorporation," The Shell and the Kernel: Renewals of Psychoanalysis. Ed. and trans. by Nicholas T. Rand. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994, 125-137.

recommended (not scanned): Jahan Ramazani, "Introduction," Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney. University of Chicago Press, 1994: 1-31.

Week XII: November 18, 2003
Paper due date.

Required Readings: 1) Alexander Pope, "The Rape of the Lock," 1712, Norton 323-340

Student (the rhetoric of the couplet, including rhyme, chiasmus, caesura) ________________________
Student (gender issues) _________________________________

Ancillary Reading: W. K. Wimsatt, "One Relation of Rhyme to Reason," The Verbal Icon. Louisville: University of Kentucky Press, 1954.

J. Paul Hunter, "Form as Meaning" Pope and the Ideology of the Couplet," in ed. David H. Richter, Ideology and Form in Eighteenth-Century Literature. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tch University Press, 1999:147-162.

Pamela Slate Liggett, "Pope's Phonemic Triangles: The Heroic Couplet in The Rape of the Lock," New Orleans Review 15. 4 (Winter 1988): 17-22.

Week XIII: November 25, 2003
Blake and The Visual Text of his Poems

Required Readings: 1) William Blake, "from Songs of Innocence and from Songs of Experience," 1798, Norton 390-396

2) Access to the visual text of the same poems http://www.iath.virginia.edu/blake/ or www.blakearchive.org
The Blake Archive on line should be looked at by all students.

Students: presentation of the meanings of a selected poem with and without the visual text

Ancillary Reading: Jerome McGann, The Textual Condition, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991, material dealing with Blake, pp. 39-47.

Week XIV: December 2, 2003
What is Poetry?

Final paper due date.

Required: Paper: Due at the beginning of class. Question: What is poetry?

Required Readings: Julia Kristeva, "From One Identity to An Other," Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art. NY: Columbia UP, 1980, 125-147.

Theodor Adorno, "Lyric Poetry and Society," Telos 20 (Spring 1974): 56-71. Or, another translation, "On Lyric Poetry and Society," Notes to Literature, Vol. I.

Roman Jakobson, "What is Poetry?" Language in Literature, Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1987, 368-378.

Barbara Johnson, "Strange Fits: Poe and Wordsworth on the Nature of Poetic Language," A World of Difference. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1987, 89-99 and notes.

James Scully, "Line Break," Line Break: Poetry as Social Practice. Seattle: Bay Press, 1988, 115-149.

Jacques Derrida, "Che cos'è la poesia." A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds, ed. Peggy Kamuf. NY: Columbia University Press, 1991: 221-237.

Jacques Derrida, "The Law of Genre" (read the first half), Acts of Literature, ed. Derek Attridge. NY: Routledge, 1992: 221-231.

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