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LIT 228 — Great Poems of the English Language: The Romantics

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 28—Dec 7
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 11
Units: 2
Tuition: $460
Instructor(s): Denise Gigante
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on November 23
Fall
On-campus course
Thursdays
7:00—8:50 pm
Date(s)
Sep 28—Dec 7
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 11
2 Units
Fees
$460
Instructor(s):
Denise Gigante
Open
Please Note: No class on November 23
"A poem is the very image of life expressed in its eternal truth." —Percy Bysshe Shelley

Away with the rubbish of the ephemeral: For the Romantic poets, life meant more than simply staying alive, or drifting in a bubble of creature comforts. It was a gift, a miracle, a wonder, and what we do with it, they taught, was up to us. Poetry, at the same time, meant more than difficult and abstruse forms of language. It was, like the imagination, divine. In the poet Shelley’s words: “It is at once the centre and circumference of knowledge; it is that which comprehends all science, and that to which all science must be referred. It is at the same time the root and blossom of all other systems of thought; it is that from which all spring, and that which adorns all; and that which, if blighted, denies the fruit and the seed, and withholds from the barren world the nourishment and the succession of the scions of the tree of life.” With Shelley’s definition in mind, we will approach some of the most profound creations of the English language. Our focus will be, among the major Romantic poets, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Shelley, and John Keats. We will discuss “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Ozymandias,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” “Kubla Khan,” and other poems.

Denise Gigante, Professor of English, Stanford

Denise Gigante has taught a wide range of poetry at Stanford since 2000, with a focus on Romanticism. Her books on the Romantic poets include Taste: A Literary History, Life: Organic Form and Romanticism, and The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and George. She received an MA and a PhD from Princeton.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Duncan Wu (Editor), Romanticism: An Anthology, 4th Edition (Blackwell, 2012) (ISBN 978-1405190756)