H16 - 
Love Poetry: Carpe Diem!
  This seminar will focus on one of the most powerful genres of love poetry in the Western tradition: the carpe diem poem. At once a means of seduction and a form of warning, carpe diem poetry depends entirely upon an unknown future. In the hands of classical poets, carpe diem poetry imagines a dark afterlife with no rewards; in its Renaissance reincarnation, the genre becomes more focused on both the loss of earthly beauty (almost always the woman's) and the uncertainty of erotic love surviving after death. This class will begin with readings from Horace, Catullus and Ovid (in English translation) to establish the foundational texts of the genre before turning to poems by Samuel Daniel, Robert Herrick, John Donne, and Andrew Marvell. We will think about why this classical genre, which was totally antithetical to the likes of Dante or Petrarch, came back in such force in Protestant England.
Harvard University-Rosovsky Hall