Skip to main content

Unit information: Romantic Poetry and Poetics in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Romantic Poetry and Poetics
Unit code ENGLM3009
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Punter
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit is designed to give students an advanced introduction to the major poets of the Romantic era. The poets include some or all of the following: William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron. The poets will be studied within their social and political contexts, but the focus will be above all on contemporary developments in conceptions of poetry and poetics, in changing definitions of Romanticism and in the critical reception of these writers. In addition to selections from the poetry, attention will be paid to major critical and theoretical essays from the period as well as to recent analysis of Romantic poetry and poetics.

Intended Learning Outcomes

This unit will provide a foundation for the study of writing in the Romantic period, particularly the poetry. It will introduce students to the basic ideas and texts for: an understanding of canonical Romantic poetry; recent debates surrounding definitions of Romanticism as a literary movement; the contemporary reception of Romantic writers. Students will engage in depth with major poets of the specified period and with the significant body of critical and theoretical debate surrounding their work. Historical and cultural contexts will be explored, as will the issue of so-called ‘confessional’ poetry as it pertains to a number of writers to be considered on the course.

Teaching Information

7 x 2-hour seminar, 1 reading week, 11 Consultation Hours

Assessment Information

1 essay of 4,000 words. Each student will also be required to give a 1000 word presentation in class

Reading and References

  • Duncan Wu, ed., Romanticism: An Anthology, 3rd edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
  • Michael O’Neill and Charles Mahoney, eds., Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008)
  • M.H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1953).
  • Nicholas Roe, ed., Romanticism: An Oxford Guide (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • James Chandler and Maureen Mclane, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Romantic Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  • Robin Jarvis, The Romantic Period: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature, 1789-1830 (Harlow: Longman, 2004)