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Seminar reading

The syllabus below is now complete: reading will be uploaded throughout the module.


Week 1: Introduction: Auden, Bishop, Heaney 

David Kennedy, Elegy 

Marilyn Hacker, 'Can Poetry Console a Grieving Public'?

Week 2: William Wordsworth, elegies for John 

Wordsworth, Essays on Epitaphs (extracts) 

Duncan Wu, 'I only look'd for pain and grief', from Wordsworth: An Inner Life (2002)

Week 3: John Clare, enclosure elegies 

Jonathan Bate, John Clare: A Biography (2003), extract

Week 4: P. B. Shelley, Adonais 

Peter Sacks, 'Adonais', in The English Elegy

Week 5: Tennyson, In Memoriam [focus on stanzas 1-5, 7-8, 10-15, 21-23, 35-37, 40, 43-44, 57, 68-70, 74, 77, 88-90, 97, 113, 119, 124, 130-1]

Paul Monette, Love Alone: Eighteen Elegies for Rog 

Matthew Curr, The Consolation of Otherness

Week 6: G. M. Hopkins, The Wreck of the Deutschland 

Joshua King, 'Hopkins' Affective Rhythm: Grace and Intention in Tension,' Victorian Poetry, 45.3 (2007) (Project MUSE)

Week 7: Constantine Cavafy, elegies

'Voices'; 'Desires'; 'Candles'; 'An Old Man'; 'Supplication'; 'The Souls of Old Men'; 'The Windows'; 'Walls'; 'The Funeral of Sarpedon'; 'The City'; 'The Ides of March'; 'Finished'; 'Ithaca'; 'The Footsteps'; 'Morning Sea'; 'The Tobacconist's Window'; 'In the evening'; 'Outside the House'; 'Body, Remember...'; 'The Afternoon Sun'; 'In Despair'; 'Before they are changed by time'

Daniel Mendelsohn, 'As Good as Great Poetry Gets', in The New York Review of Books (November 20, 2008)

Week 8: Roland Barthes, Mourning Diary

Marcel Proust, The Way by Swann's, trans. Lydia Davies (2003), extract

Week 9: Elizabeth Jennings, elegies 

Jean Ward, 'Elizabeth Jennings: An Exile in her own Country?', Literature and Theology, 21.2 (2007) Link icon

Week 10: Douglas Dunn, Elegies

Diana Fuss, 'Last Words', ELH, 76.4 (2009) (Project MUSE)