Ira Sadoff
Dana Professor of Poetry
Department of English

(207) 872-3297
Office: Miller Library 224
Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 2:30-4 p.m.

19th Century American Poetry

Writing requirements:

Papers: you have two options: two 6-7 page analytical papers (close readings), OR One 12-15 page research paper: literary approaches -- theory & or scholarship) (recommended for those interested in graduate school). Your final paper will be a synthesizing 10-12 page take home due during finals week. Each 6-7 page paper will be worth 25% of your grade, the final paper 35%, class and forum participation 15%. Long theoretical papers will count 50% of your grade. Additionally, there will be frequent (five or six) one paragraph focus/response assignments and dialogues on on-line forums as needed. Forum

Analytical paper writers will be given one extension of a week if students let me know in advance of the due date. No extensions will be given on the research paper. OTHERWISE WRITERS WILL LOSE CREDIT.

I require those working on long papers submit a thesis argument two weeks before due date. I advise all students to consult with me in advance of the due date about paper topics, to help formulate a rigorous critical argument.

Papers: due dates:
paper 1 October 10
paper 2 Nov.25
Theoretical paper Nov.18th
Thesis for paper Oct.29th

Attendance: I treat this class as a seminar: we work as a community to illuminate the texts. Therefore I expect all members of the class to participate actively in class discussions, to seriously read assigned poems before class, and to bring texts to all classes. Class participation counts toward your grade. More than three absences will adversely effect your grade.

Emily Dickinson

66 (258) There's a Certain Slant of Light;
78(280) I Felt a Funeral in My Brain;
204(510) It was not Death, for I stood up,

79(281) "Tis so appalling -- it exhilarates;
152(396) There is a Languor of the Life;
(1304) Not with a Club, the Heart is
154(401) What Soft -- Cherubic Creatures
202(501) This World is not Conclusion
217(536) The heart asks Pleasure -- first
123(342) It Will be Summer Eventually
213 I'm sorry for the dead ­ Today
61(252) I can wade grief410

184(465) I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died
290(712) Because I could not stop ...
149(389)There's been a Death

318(777)The Loneliness one dare not
269(650) Pain -- has an Element of Blank
248(599) There is pain -- so utter

Sharon Cameron, "Lyric Time" web
Mary Arensberg, "The Sublime" web
200(498)I envy Seas, whereon He rides 163
(414)'Twas like a Maelstrom
209(520) I started early -- took my dog
307(754) My Life had stood -- a loaded GUN;
58(249) Wild Nights -- Wild Nights!
265(640) I cannot live with You

64(255) To die -- takes just a little while
27(160) Just lost, when I was saved
37(193) I shall know why -- when time
119(335) 'Tis not the dying hurts us so

social/sexual politics
565(1737) Rearrange a "wife's" affection
57(246) forever at His Side to Walk
89(293) I got so I could take his name 114(326)
I Cannot dance upon my Toes(web)
505(I would not paint--(web)

77(279) Tie the Strings to my Life;
188(474) They put Us far apart
253(611)I see thee better -- in the Dark293
(716)The day undressed ­ Herself
112(324) Some keep Sabbath going to
120(338)I know that He exists

186(470) I am alive -- I guess
95(303) The Soul selects her own Society
203(508) I'm ceded -- I've stopped being

176(448) This was a Poet
427(1129) Tell all the Truth but tell it
546(1651) A word made flesh is seldom
288(709) Publication -- is the auction
525(1545) The bible is an ancient volume

126(348) I Dreaded that first Robin, so
273(668) 'Nature is What we see
109(321) Of all the sounds

(1068) Farther in summer than the Birds
498(1400) What mystery pervades a well!
123(342) It will be Summer -- eventually,
422(1100) The last night that she lived
23(130) These are the days
116(328) A Bird came down
104(314)Nature--sometimes sears a sapling
132(364) The morning after woe
211(526) To Hear the Oriole Sing
82(285) The Robin's my Criterion

Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay excerpts,
"Nature" "The Poet" essays (web)
poems: Brahma
The Problem
The Snowstorm
Each and All

Concord Hymn
Song of Nature
The Sphinx

Slave narratives:
1.Frederick Douglass, "Cowardice Departed, Bold Defiance Took Its Place"
supp: entire narrative:

2. Henry Bibb, "Conjuration"


4. Excerpt from the memoir of William and Ellen Craft (web)
supp readings: William and Ellen Craft WEBSITES

Preface to 1855 Edition pp.617-622 (l.1-260); pp.628-636 (l.512-end)

"Crossing the Brooklyn Ferry," p.135
"Passage to India," p.345
"Whoever you AreŠ" p.99
"Are you the New Person Drawn Toward me," p.105
"Who Learns My Lesson Complete," p.331

"Song of the Open Road" p.126
"Song of the Redwood-Tree" p.206
"To a Locomotive" p.395
"Song for Occupations" p.187
"To a Pupil," p.328

Sexuality/ The Senses/ The Body
Letter to Emerson1856,pp. 644-646 l.286-end
When I Hear'd the Learn'd Astronomer," p.227
"From Pent-up Aching Rivers," p.79
"When I Heard the Close of Day" p.105
"A Woman Waits for Me," p.87
"To a Common Prostitute," p.325

"I Sing the Body Electric," p.81
"Once I Pass'd Through..."p.94
"I am He That Aches With Love," p.93
What Think You I take My Pen...p.133

"When I Heard the Close of Day" p.105
"I Saw in Louisiana..."p.108
"There was a Child Went Forth," p.306

"When I peruse..." p.110
To a Stranger" p.109
"There was a Child Went Forth," p.306

"Kosmos," p.392
"What am I After All," p.392

The War
"The Wound Dresser," p. 259
"Vigil Strange I kept..." p.255
"A Sight in the Camp," p.257

Cavalry Crossing a Ford p.251
By the Bivouac's Fitful Flame, p. 253
When Lilacs Last Bloomed .. p.276
The Mystic Trumpeter, p.392
Over the Carnage p.265
Reconciliation, p.270

Death and Eternity (revisited)
The Sleepers, p.356
As I Ebbed with the Ocean of Life, p.212

"Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," p.246
This Compost, p.309
"To Think of Time," p.364
"Whispers of Heavenly Death," p.370
"On the beach at Night Alone," p.218

Song of Myself p. 28
for Class discussion sections 1-6;7-8;9-10; 13-15;16-17; 18-26;27-28; 2-34; 38-40; 44-45;47-52

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All materials posted on these pages were created to support classroom activities in the teaching of Modern American Poetry this semester only. Copyright guidelines should be followed by any person using the works on these pages.