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Academic Year 2001-2002: Semester I


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Lecturer: Dr. Richard Clarke; E-mail:

Tutor: Mr. Martin Alleyne; E-mail:

Prerequisite: A pass in E10A.  A pass in E20A Poetry I: Wyatt to Pope would be welcome but is not mandatory.

Class Schedule:

  • Two compulsory 1-hour lectures per week:
    • Lec. 1    Tuesday     4 PM - 5 PM     (LR4)
    • Lec. 2    Thursday    3 PM - 4 PM     (SLT)
  • One compulsory 1-hour tutorial, chosen from among:
    • Tut. 1 Thursday 11 AM - 12 PM (ISR) (Clarke)
    • Tut. 2 Monday 4 PM - 5 PM  (ASR2) (Alleyne)
    • Tut. 3 Tuesday 6 PM - 7 PM (BSR) (Alleyne)
In E20A Poetry I: Wyatt to Pope, students study canonical poetry produced during two of the earliest historically significant clusters of Anglophone poetry which occurred in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries: the Renaissance (c. 1550-1660) and Neo-Classical (1660-1785) periods of English literary history. The goal of this course E20B Poetry II is to introduce students to a selection of the most important canonical poetry drawn from two later historically significant clusters of Anglophone poetry which occurred in the nineteenth century: the Romantic (1785-1830) and Victorian (1830-90) periods.

By paying close attention to both its technical characteristics and themes, that is, form and content, students will be encouraged to undertake close textual analyses of the poetry in question, to become familiar with the characteristics of the various poetic genres encountered (e.g. the ode), as well as to situate the poems in relation to the lives of the poets involved and, by extension, the main socio-economic, political and ideological features (class, gender, race, etc. ) of the socio-historical contexts in which they were produced. Some of the most important factors that we will consider in this regard for their radical impact on European consciousness will include the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the rise of Darwinism (the theory of Evolution), the apogee of British imperialism and colonialism, etc.

Students will study selections to be found in The Norton Anthology of Poetry (with a few additions here and there) by some of the following poets:

  • Romantics: William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Charlotte Smith, Felicia Hemans, and Laetitia Landon.
  • Victorians: Emily Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rosetti, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, and Gerard Manley Hopkins.

We will also take into consideration how the Romantics and their Victorian successors viewed poetry by examining such seminal theoretical statements as Wordsworth’s "Preface to Lyrical Ballads," Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria, etc. for the light which they shed upon their poetry.

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