Old Western Culture | Grade 9-12+

Poetry and Politics

Romantic and Victorian Poets in the Age of Revolution

Early Moderns: Poetry and Politics


Poetry and Politics. 
Poetry and Politics guides students through a tumultuous period of significant change in Western civilization. Nations and individuals grapple with questions of identity, what it means to be free, and what it means to be human. Enjoy the poetry of Pope, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, Shelley, Tennyson, Browing, Arnold, Rossetti, Hopkins, and Poe. Explore the political treatises of Edmund Burke and Alexis de Tocqueville. Learn how these works reflect the period and influenced future generations.

Product Description


“Old Western Culture” is a literature curriculum named after a term coined by C.S. Lewis to describe the fabric of ideas that shaped Western Civilization. For centuries, a “Great Books” education lay at the heart of what it meant to be educated. It was the education of the Church Fathers, of the Medieval Church, of the Reformers, and of all the Founding Fathers of the Unites States.
– It is a CLASSICAL EDUCATION, based on the great books of western civilization.
– It is a CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, which sees the history and literature of the West through the eyes of the Bible and historic Christianity.
– It is an INTEGRATED HUMANITIES CURRICULUM, bringing together literature, history, philosophy, doctrine, geography, and art.
– It is a HOMESCHOOL oriented curriculum, made by homeschoolers with the needs of homeschooled in mind, including flexibility, affordability, and ease-of-use.
We bring a master-teacher into your home, and encourage parents to gain an overview of Western Civilization themselves by watching the video lessons with their children.


Old Western Culture is a video course. It is built around master teachers. This unit is taught by Wes Callihan. With decades of teaching experience, he guide students through the story of Western civilization. Poetry and Politics contains 12 video lessons (approx 30-45 min each).
Each lesson begins with a brief review before jumping into summary, commentary, analysis, and inter-disciplinary connections of the works covered. After each lesson, students complete the assigned readings, and answer comprehension questions in the Student Workbook or online workbook.


Poetry and Politics is 1/2 High School Credit in either literature or history. Each year of Old Western Culture is a double-credit Humanities course which is most commonly broken down into 1 Literature credit and 1 History credit. The double-credit assumes that the student will watch all the videos, read the required reading, answer the daily worksheets, and take 4 exams (one for each unit). This a robust course academically, and requires a fair bit of reading. Wesley Callihan coaches students on how to approach the reading in the video. Average daily reading load is 30-40 pages.
As an “integrated humanities” course, Old Western Culture will constantly be incorporating history, literature, theology, philosophy, art, and art history, all through the eyes of the Great Books.

1. Introduction to Enlightenment
2. Alexander Pope I
3. Alexander Pope II
4. Edmund Burke I
5. Edmund Burke II
6. Romantic Poetry I
7. Romantic Poetry II
8. Victorian Poetry and Democracy in America
9. Edgar Allen Poe
10. Victorian Poetry I
11. Victorian Poetry II
12. Victorian Poetry III

Texts covered in Poetry and Politics

The following texts and excerpts included in Poetry and Politics Reader, available in PDF or Paperback format

  • Essay on Criticism, Essay on Man, and Ode on Solitude by Alexander Pope
  • Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
  • The Rhime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge
  • Intimations of Immortality and The Solitary Reaper by Wordsworth
  • She Walks in Beauty and The Destruction of Sennacherib by Byron
  • In First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer by Keats
  • Ode to the West Wind by Shelley
  • The Lady of Shallot, In Memorium A.H.H., The Eagle, and Crossing the Bar by Tennyson
  • Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, My Last Duchess, and Fra Lippo Lippi by Browning
  • Dover Beach by Arnold
  • Song, A Better Resurrection, and A Birthday by Rossetti
  • God’s Grandeur, Windhover, and Pied Beauty by Hopkins
  • The Cask of Omontillado, Anabel Lee, To Helen, The Raven, and The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe
  • Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
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