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Course description

“Elegy presents every thing as lost and gone, or absent and future” (Coleridge). This seminar studies the poetic genre of elegy. While the varieties of elegy are legion, our focus will be on pastoral elegy and its successors; we will also look at the elegiac mood in modern lyrics. As such, we will read a host of canonical and less well-known elegies, beginning with Theocritus and ending in the twentieth century. The highly stylized nature of the pastoral elegy will be examined. We will also discuss the tension between lyrical form and lyrical expression and the strategies of consolation, of reconciliation, and of self-presentation offered by the elegies. Our discussions will draw upon many topics, including those of gender, the natural world, religion, and atheism.

Marc R. Plamondon, Ph.D. Department of English Studies Nipissing University