Introduction to Poetry: Elegy

Spring 2016-2017


John Wilkinson

This course will trace the historical course of English poetry through one genre, that of elegy. From Ben Jonson to John Milton, from P.B. Shelley to Frank O’Hara, from Alfred, Lord Tennyson to Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg to Denise Riley and Thomas Hardy to Gwendolyn Brooks, elegy has been central to English and American lyric. Its formal variations, its changing objects and modes of address, and its historically and culturally situated diction, allow students to experience the transhistorical resonance of poetic practice and a range of writing suitable to an Introduction. (A, C)