This Literature course will be taught by Dr. Anthony Cirilla, and will run from April 10th through June 17th. The syllabus can be found here.
Wordsworth is often depicted as a subjectivist, quasi-pagan poet, at the expense of his explicitly Christian writing. Assertions such as the lines in “Tintern Abbey,” “all the mighty world/Of eye, and ear,—both what they half create,” seem to support Wordsworth’s elevation of the subject over truth. Phrases which seem to cloy with sentimentalism, such as in “Ode: Intimations of Immortality,” “To me alone there came a thought of grief:/A timely utterance gave that thought relief,” appear to reinforce Wordsworth as weakly responding to Christian anthropology.
But as he wrote in “The Point at Issue,” Wordsworth ardently believed in the Lord who “deigned to fill/The temples of their hearts who, with his word/Informed, were resolute to do his will,/And worship him in spirit and in truth”. The Wordsworth who said he would shed blood for the Church of England, reflected in these lines, has been forgotten. This course will seek to recapture the Christian assumptions guiding Wordsworth’s Romantic vision of the relationship between poetics and nature, examining familiar works such as “Tintern Abbey” and The Prelude as well as less read works such as The Ecclesiastical Sonnets and The Excursion.
Dr. Anthony G. Cirilla is an Associate Professor of English at College of the Ozarks. He is also associate editor of Carmina Philosophiae, the journal of the International Boethius Society. From Western New York, he lives in Missouri with his wife, Camarie, who writes poetry and fairy tales. Anthony serves as an ordained deacon in the United Episcopal Church.
Online only, runs 10 weeks, meeting 2hr/wk. via Zoom. Students will also have the option to participate in class discussion in the Davenant Common Room Discord server. Register now to reserve your spot. The course will proceed contingent on sufficient enrollment; on rare occasions, a class has to be cancelled due to insufficient interest. Once the registration period closes, the class meeting time will be set on the basis of a poll of availability from registrants. In case of cancellation or scheduling conflicts, students will be eligible for a refund or a transfer to another course.
This is a graduate-level course. Although a BA is not a necessary pre-requisite for this course, students should come prepared to do graduate-level work.