English 361 (01)
The Metaphysical Poets:
Works and Contexts
January - April 2001
Meeting: Tu 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Room: Bldg. 345, Rm. 209
Office: Bldg. 335, Rm. 120
Office Hours: M 11:00-Noon; Tu 5:30-6:30
Course WWW page:
The central concern of this course will be the exploration of Metaphysical poetry and its exemplary practitioners, with a strong consideration of both the environment in which the Metaphysicals lived and the poetic milieu in which they wrote.
- Course Texts:
- Abrams, M. H. (gen. ed.), et al, eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. 1. 7th ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2000. (From English 200; 6th ed. will be fine as well.)
- Gardner, Helen, ed. The Metaphysical Poets. London: Penguin, 1985.
- Supplementary Texts: (These will be made available to the class; Parry is available for purchase in the bookstore.)
- Parry, Graham. The Seventeenth Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature, 1603-1700. Longman Literature in English Series. London: Longman, 1989.
- Sanders, Andrew. "Andrewes and Donne," "'Metaphysical' Religious Poetry," and "Secular Verse: Courtiers and Cavaliers." The Short Oxford History of English Literature. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1994. 192-216.
- Stanwood, Paul. "On Altering the Present to Fit the Past." Approaches to Teaching the Metaphysical Poets. Ed. Sidney Gottlieb. New York: MLA, 1990. 75-80.
- Williams, John. "Preface: Three Phases of Renaissance Poetry." Renaissance English Poetry. Ed. John Williams. New York: Anchor, 1963. vii-xxxi.
- Additional Resources:
- English 361 Newsgroup: <news://nntp.mala.bc.ca/mala.engl361.s0101>
- Lunsford, Andrea, Robert Connors, and Judy Segal. The Everyday Writer: A Brief Reference. Canadian ed. New York: St. Martin's P, 1997. (The home page for most recent edition of this work is found at <http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/lunsford/everyday_writer/default.html>.)
- The Writing Centre at Malaspina U-C.
- Malaspina U-C, English Department Grading Standards
- Group Project, 5% (Weeks 2 and 3.)
- A formal, written summary, and informal presentation to the class, on one chapter of Graham Parry's contextual study. Due as noted below.
- Mid-term exam, 10%. (Week 4.)
- This one-hour exam will cover the material considered up to and including week 3. It will have 3 sections:  identification of passages and expansion on their significance,  short answer (paragraph), and  long answer (essay).
- Research Presentation, 15%. (Due throughout the term.)
- A well-researched and formal presentation on your topic, which will be assigned during the second week of class (topics are listed below). The presentation will be approx. 10 minutes in length, and will include, for each member of the seminar, a one-page handout that outlines your presentation and lists useful secondary resources (in MLA style) for those who wish to know more about your topic.
- Due for approval in office hours one week before the night of your presentation are:  the complete script or outline for your presentation,  the handout, and  an annotated bibliography, MLA style, of between 5-8 secondary academic resources directly related to your topic. Without approval, your presentation cannot go forward.
- Research Paper, 25%. (Due two weeks after your presentation.)
- A formal research paper on your topic, having its origins in your research presentation; it will be presented in MLA style, ca. 2,000 words, and will include an annotated list of works cited.
- Class and Seminar Notes / Participation, 25%.
- Seminar notes are to be a one page, typed, exploration of the topics under consideration in our seminars for the current week. They are due at the beginning of each seminar.
- Final Exam, 20%.
- All deadlines are firm.
- Attendance is mandatory.
- All course requirements must be met (and a mark of greater than F received) for a passing grade to be issued in the course.
- This course assumes training and/or ability in the use of our library (and ILL facilities), its catalogue, and the various specialized indexes and bibliographies related to literary studies in the areas covered by the course.
- All written work will be submitted as per MLA style (parenthetical citation). All students are advised to consult and use The Everyday Writer as part of their course and assignment preparation. All students are advised to be familiar with Malaspina's Student Conduct Policy (available at: http://www.mala.bc.ca/www/crsinfo/calendar/STUDCOND.HTM), which includes a section on plagiarism.
- Week 1 (Jan. 9): Introductions. Brief overview of 17th century literature and its context, with examples and discussion.
- Week 2 (Jan. 16): Defining the Metaphysicals and Their Time, I
- Presentations and Discussion (Parry):
- Group 1: Ch. 1, "The Character of Jacobean Kingship"
- Group 2: Ch. 2, "The Iconography of Charles I"
- Group 3: Ch. 3, "The Arts in Stuart England"
- Group 4: Ch. 4, "Cultural Life During the Civil Wars and Commonwealth"
- Group 5: Ch. 5, "The Restoration Ethos"
- Seminar: English Renaissance Poetry (a discussion of Williams).
- Week 3 (Jan. 23): Defining the Metaphysicals and Their Time, II
- Week 4 (Jan. 30): Donne's Life and Works; Poems (1633).
- Guest Speaker: Paul Stanwood.
- Mid-term Exam.
- Week 5 (Feb. 6): Donne: Secular Poetry
- Seminars: [1a/b] Donne, the Lover; [2a/b] "The Storme" and "The Calme."
- Week 6 (Feb. 13): Donne: Religious Poetry
- Week 7 (Feb. 20): Donne: Satire, Prose
- Seminars: [5a/b] "Kinde pitty chokes my spleene"; [6a/b] Sermon: "Death's Duel."
- Week 8 (Feb. 27): Reading Week (no classes).
- Week 9 (Mar. 6): Jonson and Herrick
- Seminars: [7a/b] Jonson's Works (selections); [8a/b] Herrick's Hesperides (selections).
- Week 10 (Mar. 13): Herbert
- Seminars: [9a/b] The Temple and the Space of Worship; [10a/b] The Shape of Worship and its Practices in The Temple.
- Week 11 (Mar. 20): Crashaw and Vaughan
- Seminars: [11a/b] Crashaw's Steps to the Temple (selections); [12a/b] Vaughan's Silex Scintillans (selections).
- Week 12 (Mar. 27): Marvell
- Seminars: [13a/b] Cavalier and Metaphysical Strands in Marvell; [14a/b] Marvell and Pastoral ("The Garden" and "The Mower" Poems).
- Week 13 (Apr. 3): Milton, I.
- Seminars: [15a/b] Milton as Metaphysical; [16a/b] The Subject of Paradise Lost and its Treatment.
- Week 14 (Apr. 10): Milton, II.
- Seminars: [17a/b] Paradise Lost as Metaphysical Narrative.