Select Academic Year:     2016/2017 2017/2018 2018/2019 2019/2020 2020/2021 2021/2022
First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


Students will acquire a general knowledge of the evolution of English poetry, from the early modern period to our times. The analytical thread of the whole critical guided tour will highlight the different poetics of loss that can be observed through modes of writing and understanding poetry as different as the various Petrarchist ways of Sidneys, Shakespeares and Donnes with their peculiar melancholy leanings and the modernist compositions of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and James Joyce, not forgetting the Romantic contributions by Wordworth and Shelley.


Students should be able to:
- read, write and speak English with fluency
- summerize and discuss the content and subject matter of a literary or critical text after individual reading or class work.


Six credit course: language, rhetorical devices and ideological aspects of Petrarchan and anti-Petrarchan poetics; the sonnet vogue in early modern England, from Wyatt and Surrey to Sidney, Shakespeare and Donne; platonism and neo-platonism; love versus lust in early modern poetry; early modern ideas about melancholy and love-melancholy.

Twelve credit course: in addition to the the six-credit programme, a selection of poetical and critical texts by the main Imagist and Modernist authors, with particular attention to T.S. Eliots poetry and criticism.

Teaching Methods

Thirty plus thirty hour course. This includes lectures and class work, with individual text analysis and general discussion.

Verification of learning

Oral examination; students should be able to discuss any subject analysed during the course. Close reading of selected texts will be also required.


P. Bertinetti, a cura di, Storia della letteratura inglese (2 voll.), Torino, Einaudi,
Arturo Cattaneo, A Short History of English Literature (2 voll.), Milano, Mondadori, 2011
P. Sidney, Defence of Poesie; ed. italiana: Elogio della poesia, a cura di Marco Pustianaz, Il Melangolo, Genova, 1989
M.R.G. Spiller, The Development of the Sonnet, London-New York, 1992
Duncan-Jones, Katherine, ed., Shakespeares Sonnets, London, Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd., 2010
A. Serpieri, a cura di, William Shakespeare. Sonetti, Milano, Rizzoli, 1991
J. Donne, Poesie, a cura di A. Serpieri e S. Bigliazzi, Milano, Rizzoli, 2009 (ed. with Italian parallel text)
W. Wordworth, S.T. Coleridge, Preface to Lyrical Ballads
T.S. Eliot, Tradition and the Individual Talent
R. Klibansky, E. Panofsky, F. Fritz, Saturn and Melancholy, London, Thomas Nelson, 1964 (ed. it., Saturno e la melanconia, Torino, Einaudi, 1983)
T. S. Eliot, The Metaphysical Poets; Tradition and the Individual Talent
Steven Matthews, T.S. Eliot and Early Modern Literature, Oxford University Press, 2013
M. H. Levenson, A Genealogy of Modernism
J.F. Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition
S. Connor, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism

More Information

Nota Bene: The present program gives only basic information. Information and reading list will be detailed and finalized during the course.

Questionnaire and social

Share on: