Assignments 3355 Victorian Poetry

MW Room 8 EPB 3:30-4:45  

Instructor: Florence Boos,

Office: 319 EPB: office phone 335-0434

Office hours: before most classes (let me know so I’ll be sure to be in); Monday and Wednesday 7-8; Friday 3-4; and by appointment

Textbooks: Broadview Anthology of Victorian Poetry, Concise Edition and handouts from Linda Hughes, The Cambridge Introduction to Victorian Poetry, and Carol Christ, "Victorian Poetry," from the Blackwell Companion to Victorian Poetry.

Exam: Monday December 10th at 3:30 p. m. (students will report on their final paper)

Course Requirements:

participation: contributions to class discussion. Please read the assignment before class and come prepared to discuss the poem’s form and content, and ask any questions you may have about unclear passage

short written assignment for each class period: Please come to class with a brief answer to each of the following questions on the day’s reading: Was there anything confusing which needed explanation? What is something you found valuable or important in the reading? How may this text be relevant to present day life? (your own life, or to society more generally)

participation, reports: from time to time during the course students will be asked to provide background information on one of the authors we read. To prepare, please use biographical sources such as the Dictionary of Literary Biography or a biography (not simply Wikipedia).

participation: ICON. 6 times during the semester, by the times indicated on the syllabus, please post an essay equivalent to two typed pages on our space on ICON.

Of the postings, at least one should concern the book arts, based on our trip to Special Collections; one should respond to works of Victorian art, most likely from the Pre-Raphaelite and Morris slides which we view; at least one should use biographical or critical material from an article or book chapter which discusses the text on which you are commenting, and one or more should apply some of the observations in Linda Hughes’s The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry or Carol Christ’s essay to a poem or poems which we read.

Due to their brevity these will not be graded, but I will read them carefully.

two essays: In addition to these short essays, you will be asked to write a six page + critical/research paper, and a six page final take-home examination.

Your critical/research paper must be based on research in the biographies, book-length critical studies, and critical articles on the author you have chosen (that is, you cannot merely use web-page citations unless these are also printed items). A title, bibliography and if possible, an abstract should be turned in a week before the first draft is due, as indicated in the syllabus.

If you hand a draft to me one week early, I will be glad to give initial comments and suggestions.

The final essay/take-home exam will be a comparative critical discussion of the works of two or more authors/texts you have read during the course. You will summarize this to your fellow students.

The final will be held Monday December 10th from 5:30-7 p. m.

Grading: With some variation for special factors and marked improvement, grades will be roughly based on the following scale:

2 papers: 60%

ICON postings 10%

class participation: 30%

Class decorum: no cell phones!


Syllabus for English 3355: Victorian Poetry

M August 20th, 2018   introduction; handouts, if time permits, some metrics

W August 22nd, 2018  Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “The Cry of the Children”; Hughes, introduction to The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry


M August 27th, 2018   Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “The Curse,” (handout), second part of “The Curse”; Carol Christ, introduction to The Blackwell Companion to Victorian Poetry

W August 29th, 2018   Robert Browning, “Fra Lippo Lippi,” Hughes Chapter 1, Victorian Poetry

F  August 31st, 2018   1st ICON posting due (2 typed pages equals 1 ICON page)

M September 3rd, 2018  Labor Day

W September 5th, 2018  Robert Browning, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”
M September 10th, 2018 Augusta Webster, “A Castaway”

W September 12th, 2018 Webster, “A Castaway,” Mother and Daughter sonnets

F  September 14th, 2018 second ICON posting due
M September 17th, 2012 ; Pre-Raphaelite slides

W September 19th, 2018  Alfred Tennyson, “Ulysses,” “The Lotus Eaters"

M  September 24th, 2018 Alfred Tennyson, "In Memoriam," first half

W  September 26th, 2018 Alfred Tennyson, “In Memoriam,” second half

F   September 28th, 2018  Title and bibliography of paper due


M  October 1st, 2018 Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market,” “In An Artist’s Studio”

W October 3rd, 2018 visit to special collections; students will complete handout of items examined 

F October 5th, 2018 third ICON posting due; should respond to Special Collections visit


M October 8th, 2018 slides, William Morris and the decorative arts

W October 10th, 2018 Morris, “The Defence of Guenevere,” “The Haystack in the Floods”

F October 12th, 2018 final draft first paper due


M October 15th, 2018 working class and dialect poets: Samuel Laycock and Janet Hamilton (handout)

W October 17th, 2018 Matthew Arnold,” “Dover Beach,” “To Marguerite—Continued,” “The Buried Life”

F October 19th, 2018 fourth ICON posting due


M October 22nd, 2018 Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Windhover,” “As Kingfishers Catch Fire,” “Carrion Comfort”

W October 24th, 2018 Gerard Manley Hopkins, “No Worst, There is None,” “Felix Randall,” “Spring and Fall” (handout); “Binsey Poplars” (handout)


M October 29th, 2018 Algernon Swinburne, “The Triumph of Time,” “Hymn to Proserpine”

W October 31st, 2018 Amy Levy, “Xantippe”

F  November 2nd, 2018 fifth ICON posting due


M November 5th, 2018 (handout) Oscar Wilde, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”

W November 7th, 2018   Michael Field, “La Giaconda,” “It was deep April”; handout: “Your Rose is Dead,” “Trinity”


M November 12th, 2018 W. E. Henley, “In Hospital”

W November 14th, 2018 Fin de siècle: Lionel Johnson, “The Dark Angel”; (handout) Mary Coleridge, “The White Women,” “The Other Side of the Mirror”

---------Thanksgiving break November 19th-23rd

M November 26th, 2018 A. E. Housman, “The Shropshire Lad”; (handout) “Oh Who Is That Young Sinner”

W November 28th, 2018 Thomas Hardy, “The Darkling Thrush,” “Snow in the Suburbs,” “Afterwards”; handout: “Drummer Hodge,”

F November 30th, 2018 sixth ICON posting due


M December 2nd, 2018 (handout) Rosamund Marriott Watson, “The Ballad of the Bird Bride,” “A Ballad of the Were-Wolf,” “The Open Door”

W December 4th, 2018 Charlotte Mew, “The Cenotaph,” “The Farmer’s Bride,” (handout) “The Trees Are Down”


M December 10th, 2018 (tentative date) take home exam/essay; you will summarize your final essay in class


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