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Term 1

1. Introduction: lyric and the affective turn

Unit 1: Romanticism

Critical reading for Unit 1:

2. William Blake, Walt Whitman

3. William Wordsworth, S. T. Coleridge

4. John Keats and Felicia Hemans

5. John Clare, Dorothy Wordsworth
D. Wordsworth, The Grasmere Journal

6. Reading week

Unit 2: Nineteenth-century affect

Critical reading for Unit 2:

7. Alfred Tennyson and the spasmodic school

8. Christina Rossetti and Emily Dickinson

9. Gerard Manley Hopkins, A. C. Swinburne

10. Rainer Maria Rilke, C. P. Cavafy

Term 2

1. Introduction: lyric and modern affect

Unit 3: Modern lyric

Critical reading for Unit 3:

3. Robert Frost, A. R. Ammons

4. Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath

5. Allen Ginsberg, W. S. Merwin

6. Reading week

Unit 4: the lyric and late capitalism

Critical reading for Unit 4:

7. Charles Bukowski, Eileen Myles

8. Denise Levertov, Susan Howe

'I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity: the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of reaction, the tranquillity gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was before the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind.' - William Wordsworth, 1802 ‘Preface’ to the Lyrical Ballads

'The poet’s emotional signature is retained in the poem. Aristotle, in his bipartite model of the soul, places the emotions under the obedient, illogical part, reason with command and logic. Yet both parts are cognitive and partake in the logos. Thought is the efficient cause of emotion. This is why a poem’s intelligence is more moving than its heart.' - Jennifer Moxley, 'Fragments of a Broken Poetics' (2010)