English | English Poetry of the Early Seventeenth-Century
L317 | 27673 | Penelope Anderson

Penelope Anderson

11:15a-12:30p TR (30 students) 3 cr., A&H.

This course focuses on the poetry that has come to define what we
think poems do.  In the mid-twentieth century, the critics who
developed the practice of close reading used seventeenth-century
poets such as John Donne to define the characteristics of a lyric
poem:  the expression of an interior self; the separation between
the poetic speaker and the poet; and the sense of a poem as a self-
contained world.  In this course, we will explore those definitions,
through intent – and close! – reading of the poems.  But we will
also question them, by looking at the historical and cultural
contexts – England’s shift from a Catholic to a Protestant national
church; colonial exploration and expansion; changes in the meanings
of sovereignty and citizenship; gender’s challenge to humanist ideas
of the individual – out of which those poems emerged.

REQUIREMENTS:  We will read the poetry of John Donne, George
Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Aemelia Lanyer, Richard Crashaw, Ben Jonson,
Isabella Whitney, Robert Herrick, and Andrew Marvell.  No prior
experience with the period is expected; in class, we will develop
strategies for reading and writing about these texts.  Requirements
for the course include several informal and formal writing
assignments; a comprehensive final exam; and attendance and active