This free, not-for-credit online course offered through HarvardX covers American poetry in cultural context through the year 1700. The course begins with Puritan poets—some orthodox, some rebel spirits—who lived and wrote in early New England. Focusing on Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, and Michael Wigglesworth, among others, we explore the interplay between mortal and immortal, Europe and wilderness, solitude and sociality in English North America.
Before you begin, you can get a head start on The Poetry of Early New England using the Module 1 Reading List.
We also invite you to explore the following resources to learn more about the history and literature of early New England:
- The Puritans in America: A Narrative Anthology, ed. by Alan Heimert and Andrew Delbanco
- The Norton Anthology of American Literature (Volume A), ed. by Baym, Levine, Franklin, Gura, Klinkowitz, Krupat, Loeffelholz, Campbell Reesman, and Wallace
- The Cambridge History of American Literature, Vol. 1: 1590-1820, by Sacvan Bercovitch
- The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century, by Perry Miller
- God’s Altar: The World and the Flesh in Puritan Poetry, by Robert Daly
- Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750, by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
- Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England, by David Hall
- Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life of America’s First Poet, by Charlotte Gordon