Poetry in the Age of Revolution

Autumn 2018-2019

18275

Sam Rowe

The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw tumultuous changes in both literature and politics. This course will be a survey of British Romantic poetry, focusing on the poetic innovations that accompanied such social developments as republican revolutions, abolitionism, the reform movement, and early feminism. We will study the diversity of poetic expression in the period, which saw the rebirth of the sonnet, a new emphasis on lyric, new uses of vernacular language in verse, and a re-evalutation of the social role of the poet. This focus on poetics will be supplemented with attention to political context. Our readings will include poetry by both traditional canonical figures--Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats--and poets who have returned to prominence only recently--Phillis Wheatley, Robert Burns, William Cowper, Charlotte Smith, Anna Barbauld, Mary Robinson, and John Clare. (Poetry, 1650-1830)