Description and Objectives

The course focuses on the representative works of the prominent 16th. to 18th. century poets including John Donne, John Dryden, Alexander Pope and William Cowper. As the focused era is identified as classical period in the history of English literature, the students will be given an opportunity to identify the literary trends that fall under the umbrella of classical sprit in English literature with special reference to poetry as a creative genre. Qualitatively classical literature exposes the student to models of intellectual virtue, thus developing the critical vision of virtues. The students will also be familiarized with Poetic Knowledge i.e. intuitive knowledge of the nature of things conveyed in poetic expression. The students will learn to share and illustrate their own interpretations of the literary texts in their discussions. This will develop their skills of close reading and critical evaluation.

Intended Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Analyze the various elements of poetry, such as diction, tone, form, genre, imagery, figures of speech, symbolism, theme, etc.
  • label the elements in the text in hand
  • Understand and appreciate poetry as a literary art form
  • Recognize the rhythms, metrics and other musical aspects of poetry
  • Read and discuss selected poems in translation
  • Appreciate historical, cultural, and artistic context in selected major works

Course Outline:

  1. JOHN DONNE                 (Selected Love & Divine Poems)


  1. ALEXANDAR POPE     (Rape of the Lock canto I, II, V)


  1.  JOHN DRYDEN           (Selected Poems)


  1. WILLIAM COWPER     (Selected Poems)


Recommended Books:


  1. Beer, P. (1972) The Metaphysical Poets. McMillan.
  2. Fraser, G. (1978) Alexander Pope. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  3. Leishman; “The Monarch of wit”.
  4. Mark Van Doren, John Dryden: A Study of his Poetry (Bloomington, 1946)
  5. Memes John S (1972) The Life of Cowper.



  • Mid Term :                                                                                    30
  • Sessional : ( presentation (Class participation, Assignment) :     20
  • Final exam:                                                                                   50