Literature Foundation 2010


Week 2

For next week

1. Everyone, please, learn how to scan a poem. I have written a set of instructions that should teach you how to do this. (You will also find a link to the instructions in

2. Please scan this poem: a slumber did my spirit seal. You can check that you have got it right with the aid of this remarkable website:

You will also find more useful instructions on how to scan poems there. Bear in mind, though, that the scansion offered there is not necessarily the only possible one: you can disagree with it.

3. Do an analysis of the poem. Pay particular attention to the places where the scansion is irregular (eg trochaic substitutions) and see if you can see how these irregularities affect or reinforce the meaning of the poem.

4. Relate the overall meaning of the poem to Wordsworth's romanticism.

All of you, please, do all of this; in the seminar I would like group 1 to report on stanza one, group 2 on stanza 2, and group 3 on the overall meaning and romanticism.

Don't forget: it's about meaning. When you see a metrical irregularity, look at how it fits with the meaning of the poem. How is the overall meaning of the poem affected by its romanticism?

Email me if you have any problems.



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