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Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Frost

ENG 310

Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Frost

  • Course ID:ENG 310
  • Semesters:1
  • Department:English
  • Teachers:Michael Ortiz

Description and Objectives

ENG 310 Poe and Frost

September 2022

Course Content: This class will be an in-depth study of the major works of two significant American writers: Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Frost. We will begin with Poe and read several of his short stories, his two essays on poetic theory, and the majority of his poetry in order to understand how Poe saw himself as a writer developing a uniquely American voice. The second part of the class will take up Frost and his development as an American voice in the poetry of the 20th century that was both a challenge and a furtherance of Literary Modernism. We will read all of Frost’s first two volumes, and much of the subsequent ones as well. We will compare Poe and Frost in the last third of the class, particularly in how well their theories of poetry were manifested in their works.


Course Requirements: On the first day of class you will be given a moleskin-type notebook to take notes in class, and to jot down answers to questions that come up in class discussion. These notebooks will be collected periodically and graded for completeness and quality of their content. There will also be written papers dues approximately every 7-10 days. As well, there will be in-class essays. Finally, class participation will be factored in at the end of each quarter.


Course of Readings:


7: Introduction: “American Literary Independence” (1845)

8: “The Philosophy of Composition” (1846)

“MS. Found in a Bottle” (1832)

11: “A Descent into the Maelstrom” (1841)

“The Masque of Red Death” (1842)

“The Pit and the Pendulum” (1842)

18: “The Premature Burial” (1844)

“The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839)

26: “William Wilson” (1839)

“The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843)



3: “The Black Cat” (1843)

“The Cask of Amontillado” (1846)

“The Purloined Letter” (1845)

11: “Sonnet–To Science” (1829)

“Fairy-Land” (1829)

“To Helen” (1831)

17: “Lenore” (1843)

“The Raven” (1845)

24: “Ulalume” (1847)

“The Bells” (1848)

31: “Annabel Lee” (1849)


Frost’s poem/prose:



3 “The Figure a Poem Makes” (1939)

“The Last Refinement of Subject Matter: Vocal Imagination” (1941?)

7 “Caveat Poeta” (1955?)

14: “A Boy’s Will” (1913)

21: “North of Boston” (1914)

28: “Mountain Interval” (1961)


5: Review

Course Composition:

 We have about 14 (fourteen) weeks of classes this semester. You have a writing assignment due on the following weeks listed below. You are required to turn in your paper, either by hand or email, whether or not you are in class that day. Papers will–to start–be only one typed page. They should have a clear thesis, and ample citation of the text. In addition, for the first 5 (five) papers, you will need to cite a secondary source found either on JSTOR or our school library. We will follow the MLA format. We will also go over this in class. Please bookmark Purdue’s Online Writing Lab for methods of citation:























The Portable Edgar Allan Poe (Penguin Classics, 2006)

The Collected Poem of Robert Frost (Vintage, 2001)

Course Requirements

See syllabus.

Successful Students

“The purpose of literary study is to be able to talk to an author about his book without setting his teeth on edge.”–Robert Frost