Approaches to Teaching the Metaphysical Poets

  • Editor: Sidney Gottlieb
  • Pages: xii & 177 pp.
  • Published: 1990
  • ISBN: 9780873525305 (Paperback)
Approaches to Teaching the Metaphysical Poets Cover
Paperback ($19.75)
“All of the essays are notable for their various authors’ passion and commitment to instruction in the classroom. Interrogation of the term ‘metaphysical’ and the individual essays . . . attempt to move criticism and approaches to teaching into late twentieth-century theoretical frameworks.”English Language Notes
“It will be useful both to those entering the profession and to those whose pedagogical cholesterol has reached dangerous levels.”Review of English Studies

Using the now controversial designation metaphysical as a term to be debated or dissected, this book helps teachers with the classroom process of discriminating among the metaphysical and other poems of five important seventeenth-century poets: John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Richard Crashaw, and Andrew Marvell.

The volume, like others in the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, “Materials,” reviews editions of the poems, anthologies, recommended readings for students, aids to teaching, reference works, and background studies. The second part, “Approaches,” presents essays by eighteen teachers in three sections. The first section deals with general discussions and backgrounds, addressing such important topics as seventeenth-century love poetry, religion, iconography, and representations of women in metaphysical poetry. Another group of essays explores various course contexts, including lower- and upper-division survey courses and a humanities-based composition course. The final section presents essays focusing on each of the five poets.