Course Code: ENG-0232-1218
Course Title: Metaphysical Poetry
Course Type: Theory
Contact Hours: 42
Rationale of the Course:
This course will be devoted to the analysis of a wide selection of the seventeenth-century English poems written by John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell, Henry Vaughan, Thomas Traherne and other poets, who are known as Metaphysical Poets. Special attention will be paid to recurring motifs, themes, images or philosophical ideas characteristic of the poetry of that period.
The course will open with a short survey of critical approaches to metaphysical poetry, from Dr Samuel Johnson to contemporary criticism. An attempt will be made at finding some characteristic features of this poetry, as far as language, style and imagery are concerned, in the broader context of the continental Baroque (e.g. similarities and differences between the English metaphysical conceit and the baroque concetto will be discussed).
One of the aims of this course will also be a presentation of the seventeenth-century literary, cultural and philosophical trends reflected in the metaphysical poetry. Hence there is a selection of poems referring to country life, pastoral ideal, Nature-Art opposition, Neo-Platonism, New Philosophy and its discoveries and theories, contemporary emblem books, courtly masque, optical experiments in visual arts, etc.
1. John Donne - A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning; The Sun Rising; The Canonization; The Flea; The Good-Morrow; Death, be not proud; Twicknam Garden
2. Andrew Marvell - To His Coy Mistress; The Definition of Love; The Garden; The Unfortunate Lover; A Dialogue between the Soul and Body; The Mower’s Song; The Gallery
3. Henry Vaughn - Peace; Christ’s Nativity; The Evening-Watch: A Dialogue; The Star (selection)
4. George Herbert - Aaron; The Collar; Death; Love (III); Easter Wings; The Affliction (selection)
5. Abraham Cowley - Platonic Love
Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs):
After completing this course, students will be able to:
CLO1: Understand the central thematic issues, historical contexts, and theoretical debates related to the Metaphysical Poets.
CLO2: Define poetic conventions, literary devices, and metaphysical conceits using scientific equipment.
CLO3: Demonstrate critical thinking ability in clarifying and solving an issue in context.
CLO4: Demonstrate an ability to communicate, evaluate, and analyze ideas and their connections.
CLO5: Identify the key characteristics of metaphysical poetry to discuss in groups and communicate them using digital tools..
CLO6: Engage critically with previous research ethics and develop your own thinking concerning the language and imagery in this poetry.
1. Grierson, Herbert J. C (ed.) Metaphysical Lyrics and Poems of the Seventeenth Century: Donne to Butler. Oxford University Press (2nd edition), 1995.
2. Reid, David. The Metaphysical Poets. Routledge, 2000, ISBN 9781032032122.
3. Willey, Basil. The Seventeenth Century Background: Studies in the Thought of the Age in Relation to Poetry and Religion. Forgotten Books, 2018.
4. Gardener, Helen. Metaphysical Poets. Penguin Books, 1960, ISBN 9780140420388.
5. Thomas N. Corns, (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to English Poetry: Donne to Marvell. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
6. Clements (Norton Critical Ed.), John Donne's Poetry (2nd ed.), 1991.
Donne, John, and A. J. Smith, ed. John Donne: The Complete English Poems. New York, NY: Penguin, 1986. ISBN: 0140422099.
7. Marvell, Andrew, Frank Kermode, ed., and Keith Walker, ed. Andrew Marvell. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1994. ISBN: 0192822713.
8. Zwicker, S.N., (ed.,) The Cambridge Companion to English Literature. Pp. 1650 - 1740 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,2008)
9. Etlin, R. A., In Defence of Humanism: Value in the Arts and Letters (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)
10. Corns, Thomas N., ed. The Cambridge Companion to English Poetry. Donne to Marvell, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
11. Dawson, Terence and Dupree, Robert Scott, eds. Seventeenth-Century English Poetry. The Annotated Anthology, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994.
12. Docherty, Thomas. John Donne Undone, London & New York: Methuen, 1986.
13. Donne, John. Poetical Works, edited by Herbert J. C. Grierson, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.
14. Gardner, Helen (ed), The Metaphysical Poets, Penguin Books, 1957.
15. Tayler, Edward William. Nature and Art in Renaissance Literature, New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1964.
Other Learning Materials: Journals, Website Materials, YouTube Videos etc.