Studies in Poetry: From the Sonneteers to the Metaphysicals >> Content Detail

Study Materials


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Readings are also available by session.

Required Texts

Amazon logo Sidney, Philip. An Apology for Poetry and Astrophil and Stella: Texts and Contexts. Boston, MA: College Publishing, 2001. ISBN: 0967912113.

Amazon logo Donne, John and A. J. Smith, ed. John Donne: The Complete English Poems. New York, NY: Penguin, 1986. ISBN: 0140422099.

Amazon logo Marvell, Andrew, Frank Kermode, ed., and Keith Walker, ed. Andrew Marvell. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1994. ISBN: 0192822713.

Amazon logo Shakespeare, William and Stephen Booth, ed. Shakespeare's Sonnets. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1977. ISBN: 0300019599.

In addition, copies of poems by Petrarch, Ovid Wyatt, Spenser and others, along with secondary material (historical and critical) will be made available on the MIT Server for this course at appropriate moments in the term. Some of these are noted in the readings, but there will be others that I will decide on, depending upon how the class discussions progress.

Readings by Session

Lec #topicsreadings
Lines of Influence: Petrarch and Ovid
1IntroductionOvid's "Apollo and Daphne."
2Petrarch and OvidPetrarch Sonnets: 1 through 6, 12, 17, 18, 21, 31, 32, 35, 36, 44 through 46, 52, 61, 76, 82, 90, 101, 102, 107, 108, 110, and 111.

Ovid: "Echo and Narcissus," "Orpheus and Eurydice," and "Actaeon."
3PetrarchSonnets: 122, 123, 132 to 134, 144, 145, 150, 151, 159, 161, 171, 182, 183, 189, 196, 197, 211, 292, 311, 326, 327, 343, 344, 355, and 356.
Sidney and the Contexts of Renaissance Verse
4Sidney's Precursors: Wyatt and Surrey
5Constructing the Poetic SelfAstrophil and Stella.
6SidneySidney's A Defense of Poetry. Astrophil and Stella.
7Screening of Man for All Seasons
8The English Court under Elizabeth IAstrophil and Stella.

Additional Reading: Marotti, Arthur. "'Love is not Love': Elizabethan Sonnet Sequences and the Social Order." ELH 49, no. 2 (Summer 1982): 396-428.
9The English Court under Elizabeth I (cont.)Astrophil and Stella.

Additional Reading: King, John N. "Queen Elizabeth I: Representations of the Virgin Queen." Renaissance Quarterly 43, no. 1 (Spring 1990): 30-74.
Sidney to Spenser and Shakespeare
10Edmund SpenserEdmund Spenser's Amoretti (Selections).
11Edmund Spenser (cont.)Spenser's Amoretti (Selections).
12Shakespeare's Sonnets (Selections)

Shakespeare's Sonnets at The Literature Network

Shakespeare's Sonnets Gutenberg E-text
13Shakespeare's Sonnets (Selections) (cont.)
Donne and Marvell
14John Donne, Songs and Sonnets (Selections)Amazon logo Additional Reading: Marotti, Arthur. John Donne, Coterie Poet. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986, chapter 1. ISBN: 0299104907.
15Money, Colonialism and GenderDonne's "Elegy XI: The Bracelet," "Elegy XVIII: Loves Progress ," "Elegy XX: To His Mistress Going to Bed," "Sermon to the Virginia Company," and "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning"; and Andrew Marvell's "To his Coy Mistress," and "Bermudas."

Additional Reading: Raman, Shankar. "Can't Buy me Love: Money, Gender, and Colonialism in Donne's Erotic Verse." Criticism 43, no. 2 (Spring 2002): 135-168.
16Cartography and Poetry: Maps and BodiesExtracts from Donne's Devotions, and "Hymn to God, My God, In My Sickness."
17Renaissance Neo-PlatonismDonne and Marvell: Donne's "Air and Angels," and "The Ecstasy"; Andrew Marvell's "Dialogue Between the Soul and the Body," "On a Drop of Dew," and "The Garden."
18Andrew Marvell: Pastoral PoemsMarvell's Mower poems: "The Mower, Against Gardens," "Damon The Mower," "The Mower to the Glow-Worms," "The Mower's Song."
Poetry and Religion
19John Donne: New Science and DoubtDonne: "The Anniversary," and "A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy's Day."
20John Donne (cont.)Donne's "Satire 3," and Selected Holy Sonnets.
21George HerbertGeorge Herbert (Selections).
22George Herbert, Mary Wroth, Amelia LanyerGeorge Herbert (Selections); Mary Wroth (Selected sonnets); and Amelia Lanyer's "Defense of Eve."
Poetry, Place, History
23Amelia Lanyer, Ben Johnson, Andrew MarvellAmelia Lanyer's "To Cookham"; Ben Jonson's "To Penshurst"; Andrew Marvell's "Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Fairfax."
24The Civil War"Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Fairfax," and Marvell's "Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell's Return From Ireland."
25Student Meetings to Discuss Final Essay Draft
26The Civil War (cont.)"Upon Appleton House, to my Lord Fairfax," and "Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell's Return From Ireland."
27Student Meetings to Discuss Final Essay Draft (If necessary) (cont.)


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