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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3034 Romantic Lyric Poetry

20 creditsClass Size: 24

School of English

Module manager: Dr Jeremy Davies

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is a chance to study poetry in close-up detail. We will read poems from the Romantic period (roughly 1780 to 1830) as slowly and carefully as possible, to try to understand the inner workings of this exceptional body of literature. Alongside them, we will study theories of lyric. We’ll explore a tradition of critical thinking about what poetry is, what it does, and why it matters.


‘Romantic Lyric Poetry’ aims to help students develop an advanced understanding of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poetry in English. The module will explore a relatively small body of writing, enabling an intensive and sophisticated reckoning with the pleasures and challenges of literary texts. It will also include study of influential arguments in literary and critical theory. Through small-group seminar discussion, and opportunities for written work and feedback, it will enable students to deepen their close reading skills, and to think in more ambitious ways about the significance of literature and culture.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:
1. Demonstrate advanced understanding of poetic texts from the British Romantic period.
2. Assess and engage with some key arguments in poetics and literary theory from the 1790s to the present.
3. Interpret Romantic-period poems in the light of a familiarity with their literary tradition and with subsequent critical responses.
4. Communicate accurate and nuanced readings of texts on the module in fluent academic writing.


It was, one journalist remarked in 1819, a ‘most poetical age.’ The years between about 1780 and 1830 saw the production of some of the most intense and subtle poetry ever written in English. Several of the era’s poets would become central points of reference in the study of English literature: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. Many others – including many female and labouring-class poets – have recently started to command renewed attention and respect after long periods of neglect. This module gives you a chance to study the poetry of the Romantic period in intimate detail.

The module aims to combine close readings of a diverse range of poems with a study of some of the most influential theories of poetry of the last two centuries, from Wordsworth to contemporary thinkers. We will investigate the idea of lyric poetry, and lyric’s distinctive and enduring strategies of enchantment. Slow, careful explorations of individual poems will be central to our work on this module.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

180 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Weekly dialogue in small-group seminars; opportunities for one to one meetings in tutor’s weekly support hours; opportunities to meet with departmental Writing Mentors; individual written feedback on mid-semester assignment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1500 words0.00
Portfolio2500 word portfolio + 1000 word editorial presentation of a poem100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:39:49


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