Approaches to Teaching Wordsworth’s Poetry
- Editors: Spencer Hall, Jonathan Ramsey
- Pages: x & 182 pp.
- Published: 1986
- ISBN: 9780873524964 (Paperback)
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.