Fall 2011

Four Poets: Donne, Herbert, Wordsworth, Frost

Listed in: English, as ENGL-443


David R. Sofield (Section 01)


Who are the earlier poets whose work remains acutely alive in the minds of recent and contemporary poets, critics, scholars, and what Samuel Johnson called, respectfully, common readers?  This seminar will consider the thesis that the short and mid-length poems of John Donne, George Herbert, William Wordsworth, and Robert Frost make the case that these poets belong high on the list of those who are read now with the kind of attention that the range of readers gives to today’s major writers.  Beginning with Donne in the 1590s and concluding with Frost in the 1950s, the work of the poets will be considered, in detail, from historical, formal, and religious/philosophical points of view.  In addition, we will read examples of the abundant criticism devoted to each of the four.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, with preference to junior English majors.  Although an English Department seminar, students not majoring in English are welcome.  Limited to 20 students.  Fall semester.  Professor Sofield and Simpson Lecturer Wilbur.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to junior English majors.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011