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Approaches to Teaching Wordsworth's Poetry

Editor(s): Spencer Hall, Jonathan Ramsey

Pages: x & 182 pp.
Published: 1986
ISBN: 9780873524964

The casebound edition of this title is out of print.

A central figure of the English Romantic movement and the author of scores of canonical works, William Wordsworth is a mainstay of literature courses ranging from freshmen surveys to upper-level seminars. The essays in this collection discuss teaching the poet in these and other settings, using a variety of critical perspectives and pedagogical strategies.

This Approaches volume, like others in the MLA series, is divided into two parts. Part 1, "Materials," surveys editions, anthologies, student readings, reference works, background studies, and critical scholarship. Part 2, "Approaches," comprises thirty essays by experienced instructors, beginning with two personal reflections on how Wordsworth courses have changed since the 1950s and on how rewarding teaching the poet can be. Thirteen essays focus on specific works, including Lyrical Ballads, The Prelude, the Immortality Ode, and selected sonnets. Eight position the poetry in historical, literary, or theoretical contexts. Other contributions describe ways of teaching Wordsworth at a two-year college, along with the visual arts, or in a modern poetry course.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Wordsworth's Poetry

Spencer Hall

Teaching Editions: Selections and Collections
Teaching Editions: Individual Works
Standard Reference Editions
Readings for Students and Teachers
Reference Works
Recommended Student Readings
Romantic Contexts
Studies of Wordsworth

Aids to Teaching


On Teaching Wordsworth

Teaching Wordsworth from the 1950s to the 1980s
Herbert Lindenberger

On Failing to Teach Wordsworth
Peter J. Manning

Selected Pedagogical Approaches

Teaching Wordsworth to Minority Students
Muriel Mellown

Pre- and Postreading Activities: Teaching Wordsworth at a Two-Year College
Mark Reynolds

Teaching Wordsworth by Response
Jared Curtis

Teaching Wordsworth's Style: A Cumulative Approach
Jack H. Haeger

Wordsworth and the Sister Arts
Nicholas O. Warner

A Thematic Arrangement of the Major Texts
Anthony John Harding

Two Honors Courses on Wordsworth and Criticism
Craig Howes

Teaching Individual Texts

Scorn Not the Sonnet
Spencer Hall

The Preface in Relation to the Lyrical Ballads
Judith W. Page

What Wordsworth Has Made of Man: Teaching the Lyrical Ballads
John T. Ogden

Verbal Repetitions in "Tintern Abbey"
Patricia L. Skarda

That the Center Hold: "Michael" and the "Spots of Time"
Edward Duffy

The Two Selves in Wordsworth's Middle Lyrics
John Milstead

Teaching the Immortality Ode with Coleridge's "Dejection: An Ode"
John L. Mahoney

Contexts for Teaching the Immortality Ode
Jonathan Ramsey

"A Power to Virtue Friendly": On Teaching "The Ruined Cottage"
Lisa Steinman

Teaching the Two-Part (1799) Prelude
Jonathan Wordsworth

Teaching the 1850 Prelude
Anthony J. Franzese

Books 10 and 11 of The Prelude: The French Revolution and the Poet's Vocation
Charles Rzepka

Mount Snowdon and the Wordsworthian Sublime
Wayne Glausser

Literary and Historical Contexts

Wordsworth and Milton
J. Douglas Kneale

After The Prelude: The Historicity of Wordsworth's Ideas
Francis Russell Hart

Sympathy and Imagination: Wordsworth and English Romantic Poetry
John Hodgson

Wordsworth and Modern Poetry
Allan Chavkin

Theoretical Perspectives

Teaching Wordsworth and Women
Anne K. Mellor

A Psychobiographical Approach to Wordsworth's Goslar Poetry
Richard E. Matlak

Teaching Wordsworth's Poetry from the Perspective of a Poetics of Speech
Don H. Bialostosky

Deconstructing Wordsworth
Tilottama Rajan

Works Cited


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