ENGL478K Selected Topics in Literature before 1800; Early Modern to Post-Modern Poetry
We will trace the development of poetry in English from Milton to Elizabeth Bishop. Realizing that poetry is in crisis, Milton attempts, in Paradise Lost, to address the intellectual and imaginative challenges brought on by the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, and the English Civil War. In doing so he creates a poem of rich contradictions and poses questions that are taken up and refigured by what can be called "The Romantic Tradition." Milton's attempt to "justify the ways of God to men" metamorphoses, over the centuries, into Stevens's conviction that "God and the imagination are one," and what is gained and lost in this chain of call-and-response will be our subject. We will read all of Paradise Lost, sections from Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience" and "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," Wordsworth's The Prelude, and lyrics by Stevens and Bishop.
0101 - David Wyatt