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Section 001 / Fall 2004 / Susan Tichy / Tuesday 7:20-10:00 / Thompson Hall 106

WEEK 7: ROMANTICISM: what was it? what is it?


Philosophical origins, the Romantic Sublime
The Romantic fragment, the "authentic," relation to folk originals
Romantic displacement of external conflict to internal theatre
     Changes in genre & occasion
     The “poem of experience” & assembling a self
“Organic form” & erasure of enunciation

Please read the entries in Norton & my notes on line before you read Easthope and McGann.

Anthony Easthope: Poetry as Discourse, Chapter 8: "The continuities of Romanticism"

Bookstore photocopies: Jerome McGann: "The Mental Theater of Romantic Poems." From Romantic Ideology: A Critical Investigation. U Chicago Press, 1983. 59-71 

If you have Raffel, read chapter 14.


Intro to English Romanticism, w/ links to primary texts;
Annotation to McGann
Intro to Scottish Romanticism, the ballad revival & Robert Burns

This week you will read poems from the Norton & on line

Required in the Norton:

SMITH: Written in the church yard at Middleton in Sussex 652, Written near a port 653, Written in Octobeer 653, from Beachy Head 655 (see more reading from Smith on line, below)

BLAKE: To the Evening Star 671, all from Songs of Innocence 671, all from Songs of Experience 678, England Awake! 684

BURNS: To a Mouse 684, Holy Willie's Prayer 685, Green Grow the Rashes 688, John Anderson 689, Tam O'Shanter 689, Bonie Doon 694, A Red Red Rose 694, (see more readings from Burns on line, below, including the dirty version of John Anderson) 

WORDSWORTH: Lines...Tintern Abbey 699, from The Prelude 714, She Dwelt Among 721, A Slumber Did 722, Composed upon Westminster Bridge 727, Nuns fret not 727, Ode: Intimations of Immortality 728, The World Is Too Much With Us 735, The Solitary Reaper 736, Surprised by Joy 736 

COLERIDGE: Kubla Khan 741, Frost at Midnight 742, Rime of the Ancient Mariner 744, Dejection: An Ode 760

BYRON: Written after swimming 766, She Walks in Beauty 767, from Don Juan 769, Stanzas (when a man has no freedom to fight for at home) 792

SHELLEY: Hymn to Intellectual Beauty 794, Mont Blanc 796, Ozymandis 799, Adonais 807, England in 1819 800, Ode to the West Wind 801, To a Skylark 805, Mutability 819

KEATS: On first looking into Chapan's Homer 831, When I Have Fears 832, La Belle Dame Sans Merci 842 (a "literary ballad" first published anonymously), Ode to Psyche, 843, Ode to a Nightingale 845, Ode on a Grecian Urn 848, To Autum 849, This Living Hand 850

Recommended in the Norton:
THOMSON: Winter 585
GOLDSMITH: The Deserted Village 627
BARBAULD: The Rights of Woman 646
MORE: The Slave Trade 650
FRENEAU: To Sir Toby 658
CRABBE: from The Parish Register 662, from Letter XXII The Poor of the Borough 668
BAILLIE: A Mother to her infant 696, Song: Woo'd an married an a; 698
WORDSWORTH: The Ruined Cottage 703
TIGHE: From Psyches 738 (an influence on Keats' "Ode to Psyche")
KEATS: Ode on Melancholy 847, Bright Star 850, Eve of St. Agnes 833

Required on line:

British Romantic Women Poets Site: Charlotte Smith: The Emmigrants
Please read the first 11 pages of this facsimile (each page is very short). Note that the pages are numbered 1-8, then (b/c of printer's error in the original) jump to 17. You need to read pp.1-8 + 17-19. Contrast this poem about French refugees huddled on a picturesque English beach with Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey."

British Romantic Women Poets Site: Charlotte Smith: Beachy Head
Please read several pages of this poem. Note its concrete details of both place and natural history, compared to Wordsworth, and the presence of author's notes to back them up.

A few more poems & songs by Burns

ENTRIES IN PRINCETON (read in this order)

Princeton: *Romanticism, *Romantic & Postromantic Poetics, *Irony: Classical irony, Romantic irony, bathos vs. pathos, subjectivity and objectivity, synaesthesia

Vocabulary (from Princeton & other readings): dramatis persona, soliloquy, monologue, dramatic monologue, aesthetic distance, dramatic irony; Coleridge's distinction between imagination and fancy, negative capability; cult of feeling;/cult of sensibility; poem of experience; Romantic displacement


1)Review the “history of ideas” approach to the origins of Romanticism as outlined in the Princeton

2) Review major Romantic tenents from Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats & Shelley & define the "poem of experience"

3) In that context, discuss Romantic displacement and internal theater as McGann presents them, and the erasure of enunciation as Easthope defines it

4) Discuss "organic form" as it originates here, and examine responses to the gradual decline of “classical” English prosody

5) Briefly compare these notions of Romanticism to those of the Scottish tradition

We will center our discussion on a few poems, probably including Robert Burns, early Blake, Charlotte Smith's "The Emmigrants" or "Beachy Head," Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" and/or "The Prelude" and one of Keats' Odes, maybe one of Shelley's. We'll also play some of Burns' songs.