Major Poets

19th century chewing tobacco advertisements featuring Romeo and Juliet.

Chewing tobacco advertisements featuring Romeo and Juliet (c.1874 and c.1873, respectively). (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [reproduction numbers: LC-USZC4-5019 (color film copy transparency) and LC-USZC4-5018 (color film copy transparency), respectively])


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2005



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This subject is an introduction to poetry as a genre; most of our texts are originally written in English. We read poems from the Renaissance through the 17th and 18th centuries, Romanticism, and Modernism. Focus will be on analytic reading, on literary history, and on the development of the genre and its forms; in writing we attend to techniques of persuasion and of honest evidenced sequential argumentation. Poets to be read will include William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, William Wordsworth, John Keats, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, and some contemporary writers.

Other Versions

Other OCW Versions

OCW has published multiple versions of this subject. Question_OVT logo

Archived versions: Question_avt logo

Related Content

Stephen Tapscott. 21L.004 Major Poets. Fall 2005. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.