Summer 2018


Join us for our first summer offering in New York City



The Sonnet


June 13 - July 25


6:00 - 7:30


Priscilla Gilman





Course Description:

The sonnet is one of the most important poetic forms; in this class, we'll read some of the most beautiful and influential poems in the English language and take a tour through literary history as we do so.  Authors will include Sidney, Shakespeare, Hopkins, Frost, Yeats, Wordsworth, Milton, Millay, McKay, Heaney, Keats, Shelley, Barrett Browning, and ee cummings.

Location:  369 Lexington Ave, New York, NY - 3rd floor conference room

Cost:       $395.00                                     REGISTER HERE


Unit One: Introduction

John Hollander, sonnet excerpt from Rhyme's Reason
Paul Fussell, "Structural Principles and the Example of the Sonnet"
Norton Anthology, "Poetic Form and Literary Terminology"
Petrarch sonnets
Sir Thomas Wyatt, "The Long Love That In My Thought Doth Harbor," "My Galley Charged with Forgetfulness," "Whoso List to Hunt" 

Unit Two: The Renaissance Sonnet

Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophil and Stella 1, 2, 3, 6, 69, 74
William Shakespeare, Sonnets 12, 18, 29, 30, 55, 64, 65, 73, 102, 130

Unit Three: The Miltonic and Romantic Sonnet

William Wordsworth, "Nuns Fret Not at their Convent's Narrow Room," "The World is Too Much With Us," "Scorn Not the Sonnet," "Surprised by Joy," "Mutability"
John Keats, "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles for the First Time," "On the Sonnet"
Percy Shelley, "Mutability," "To Wordsworth," "Ozymandias"
John Clare, "To Wordsworth," "I Feel I Am, I Only Know I Am," Written in Prison," "Poets Love Nature"

Unit Four: The Victorian Sonnet 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese
Gerard Manley Hopkins, "God's Grandeur," "The Windhover," "Spring and Fall," "Pied Beauty," "Binsey Poplars," "Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord, If I Contend," "Spring"

Unit Five: The Modern Sonnet

Robert Frost, "Mowing," "The Oven Bird," "For Once, Then, Something,"  "Design," "On A Bird Singing In Its Sleep," "Never Again Would Bird's Song Be the Same," "The Silken Tent," "Range-Finding," "Once by the Pacific"
ee cummings, "the cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls," "next to of course god america I,"
W. B. Yeats, "Leda and the Swan"

Unit Six: Alternative Voices; The Contemporary Sonnet 

Edna St Vincent Millay, Sonnets
Claude McKay, "If We Must Die," "To the White Friends," "Africa," "America," "My             
Mother," "Enslaved," "Outcast"
Yvor Winters, “The Slow Pacific Swell”
Seamus Heaney, from Glanmore Sonnets and Glanmore Revisited
Paul Muldoon, "Why Brownlee Left," "The Point," "The Train," "Hay," "Paunch"

And more

About the Professor

Priscilla Gilman is a former assistant professor of English at Yale and Vassar and the author of The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy (Harper), a memoir filled with the romantic poetry she specialized in as an academic.  Priscilla grew up in New York City and graduated from The Brearley School and Yale summa cum laude with exceptional distinction in the English major. She went on to earn her masters and Ph.D. in English and American literature at Yale, and spent two years as an assistant professor of English at Yale and four years as an assistant professor of English at Vassar College before leaving academia in 2006. From 2006-2011, she worked as a literary agent at Janklow & Nesbit Associates, representing a wide range of literary fiction, inspirational memoir, wellness, and psychology/education books. During these years, she also taught poetry appreciation to inmates in a restorative justice program and to New York City public school students. The Anti-Romantic Child, Gilman’s first book, was excerpted in Newsweek magazine and featured on the cover of its international edition. It was an NPR Morning Edition Must-Read, Slate‘s Book of the Week, selected as one the Best Books of 2011 by the Leonard Lopate Show, and chosen as a Best Book of 2011 by The Chicago Tribune. The Anti-Romantic Child was one of five nominees for a Books for a Better Life Award for Best First Book and was awarded the Mom’s Choice Gold Award, rewarding the best in family-friendly media and literature.  Gilman writes about literature, parenting, autism, and education and reviews fiction and literary non-fiction for the Daily Beast, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times’ Motherlode, The Chicago Tribune, MORE, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Redbook, the Boston Globe, and Huff Post Parents. Her December 2012 New York Times op-ed, “Don’t Blame Autism for Newtown,” and her August 25th 2013 New York Times Book Review Back Page Essay, “Early Reader,” both went viral.  Gilman has been the parenting/education advice columnist for #1 best-selling author Susan Cain's Quiet Revolution website and a Scholar/Facilitator for the New York Council for the Humanities.   A prize-winning teacher and with a background in the performing arts, Gilman leads book groups and private writing workshops in New York City and speaks frequently at schools, conferences, and organizations about parenting, education, and the arts.  She is also a certified Mindfulness Meditation teacher.  Gilman is now at work on her second book, The Critic's Daughter, the story of her relationship with her brilliant and complicated father, the late drama critic Richard Gilman, and set in the heyday of intellectual culture in New York of the 1970s and 80s; it will be published by W.W. Norton.