Listed in: English, as ENGL-95
David R. Sofield (Section 05)
Richard P. Wilbur [d] (Section 05)
Is any term in the study of literature more contested than lyric? Reaching agreement on a definition beyond Aristotle’s obvious claim that lyric may be distinguished from epic and dramatic has proved impossible. Yet what critics have named lyric poems have been written for two and a half millennia, and for two centuries now the lyric has been the dominant poetic mode. With an eye to its literary-historical development, this seminar will undertake to read closely the English-language lyric from the sixteenth century to the present. Attention will be given to concurrent attempts to describe its properties, concluding with recent considerations of the genre. Two class meetings per week.
Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Sofield and Simpson Lecturer Wilbur.
If Overenrolled: Preference given to senior and junior English majors.