ENEC 311—Grub Street: The Literary and the Literatory
First exercise
Due at the start of class on September 20
Two to three pages, double spaced
 

The poems you read for today were written by Jane Barker largely for her friends and family while they were all in France during the (what turned out to be permanent!) exile of King James II (whose picture appears above); like many coterie authors, she never imagined that they would be printed, much less published in a paperback edition three centuries later. First, read through all the poems for this class, and then think about some of the themes, images, and ideas these poems share. In a short paper, I'd like you to choose a single word, or at most a three word phrase, that to your mind best encapsulates and summarizes these poems, or at least a significant number of them. This need not be a word in any of the poems (though it could be) rather, it should be a word that to your mind gets to the heart of what is going on here. The point is not to come up with the magic word that explains everything; what's most important is your argument about why this poem is significant and important. We'll use these short essays as a springboard into our class discussion, so come prepared to talk about your word or phrase--and also to see if anyone else in the class has chosen the same word!