Department of English

University of Toronto

Reibetanz, Julia M.

Julia Reibetanz
Professor and Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College
Office Location: Department of English, 416-978-6039; Trinity College, 416-978-2454 
B.A. (Toronto), M.A. Ph.D. (Princeton)

Teaching and Research Interests
Romantic Poetry, Modern Poetry and Fiction, Contemporary Canadian and American Poetry.

Julia Reibetanz has been a member of the Department of English since 1969. She taught at St. Michael’s College from 1969 to 1998 and moved to Trinity College in 1998 where she was appointed a Fellow and has taught until her retirement in 2016.  

She served on the Governing Council of the University of Toronto from 1989 to 1992, and as a member of the Executive Committee, Academic Board, Academic Appeals, Academic Policy and Programs, the Elections Committee, and as an appraiser for the Office of Research Administration. She also served on the Faculty of Arts and Science Council from 2004 to 2009, the Arts and Science Curriculum Committee, and on the Curriculum Review and Renewal Committee in 2006-07. At St. Michael’s College, she served on the Senate Library Committee, and at Trinity College, she served on the Trinity College Senate, the Academic Appointments Committee, the Academic Grievance Review Committee, and the Strategic Plan Fellowship Committee.

In the Department of English, she served as Associate Chair from 2004 to 2009. She also served as Coordinator of Teaching Assistants and Professional Faculties from 1996 to 2000, and as the Department’s Discipline Representative for Woodsworth College from 1981 to 1987. In these capacities, she served as Chair of the Undergraduate Council and as an on-going member of the Chair’s Advisory Committee, the Administrative Committee, the Calendar and Curriculum Committee, the Staffing Committee and Staffing Sub-Committees for Promotions and Tenure Stream Appointments, the Committee on Teaching in the PhD program, and Search Committees for CLTA and Teaching Stream Appointments. She also recommended the appointments for all Sessional Lecturers and Course Instructors to the Chair from 2004 to 2009. And more enjoyably, she chaired the E. J. Pratt Poetry Prize Committee over several years. Finally, she served as an Assessor for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

The following publications constitute a selection of her critical work.

Faculty Bookshelf


A Reading of Eliot's Four Quartets. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1983.

Articles and Reviews

“Traditional Meters in Four Quartets.” English Studies 56.5 (1975): 409-429.

Review. T. S. Matthews. Great Tom: Notes Towards a Definition of T. S. Eliot. The Humanities Association Review 26.2 (1975): 156-158.

“Four Quartets as Poetry of Place.” The Dalhousie Review 56.3 (1976): 526-541.

Review. B. Rajan. The Overwhelming Question: A Study of the Poetry of T.S. Eliot. The Humanities Association Review 27.2 (1976): 226-227.

“Villain, Victim, and Hero: Structure in David Copperfield.” The Dalhousie Review 59.2 (1979): 321-338.

“Supreme Contradictions: The American Poet Versus the Wilderness of American Experience.” The Canadian Review of American Studies 14.4 (1983): 497-07.

“Accentual Forms in Eliot's Poetry from The Hollow Men to Four Quartets.” English Studies 65.4 (1984): 334-49.

“American Poetics of Self and History.” The Canadian Review of American Studies 17.1 (1986): 257-64.

Review. T. Diggory. Yeats and American Poetry. Yeats/Eliot Review 8.1&2 (1986): 128-129.

Review. P. S. Sri. T.S. Eliot: Vedanta and Buddhism. University of Toronto Quarterly 57.1 (1987): 128-130.

“Discontinuities in American Culture and the Poetic Response.” The Canadian Review of American Studies 19.3 (1988): 365-68.

Review. L. Steven. Dissociation and Wholeness in Patrick White's Fiction. University of Toronto Quarterly 60.1 (1990): 186-189.

Review. B. Michelson. Wilbur's Poetry: Music in a Scattering of Time. Journal of English and Germanic Philology 92.4 (1993): 591-594.

Review. D. Marr. Patrick White: A Life. University of Toronto Quarterly 63.3 (1994): 470-472.

“Ralph Gustafson.” Contemporary Poets. Ed. T. Riggs. Detroit: St. James Press, 1996. 419-421.

“Rachel Hadas.” Contemporary Poets. Ed. T. Riggs. Detroit: St. James Press, 1996. 424-425.

“P. K. Page.” Contemporary Poets. Ed. T. Riggs. Detroit: St. James Press, 1996. 838-840.

“Anne Szumigalski.” Contemporary Poets. Ed. T. Riggs. Detroit: St. James Press, 1996. 1099-2000.

Review. J. X. Cooper. T. S. Eliot and The Ideology of Four Quartets. University of Toronto Quarterly 67.1 (1997-98): 303-306.

“The Reflexive Art of Richard Wilbur.” University of Toronto Quarterly 67.2 (1998): 592-612.

“Mary di Michele.” Contemporary Women Poets. Ed. P. Shelton. Detroit: St. James Press, 1998. 90-92.

Review. S. Zitner. The Asparagus Feast. Trinity: The Trinity Alumni Magazine 38.1 (2000): 10-11.

“Yves Bonnefoy.” The Dictionary of Literary Biography: Modern French Poets 258. Ed. J. F. Leroux. Detroit: The Gale Group, 2002. 62-71.

“Poetry.” The Annual Review of Canadian Poetry. Letters in Canada 2000: University of Toronto Quarterly 71.1 (2001-02): 38-89.

“Poetry.” The Annual Review of Canadian Poetry. Letters in Canada 2001: University of Toronto Quarterly 72.1 (2002-03): 207-255.

“Poetry.” The Annual Review of Canadian Poetry. Letters in Canada 2002: University of Toronto Quarterly 73.1 (2003-04): 29-65.

Conference Papers

Four Quartets as Moral Philosophy: Terms and Sources.” Presented at the Conference on Moral Philosophy and Literature, sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature, University of Toronto. April 1983.

“Reflexivity in the Poetry of Richard Wilbur.” Presented at the American Literature Association Conference, Session 38: Richard Wilbur at 75. San Diego, May 1996.

“Attachments, Links, Dependencies: The Consolations of Syntax in Amy Clampitt’s Poetry.” Presented at the Fourth Annual West Chester University Poetry Conference. June 1998.

Invited Lectures

“Poetry as Sacred Space: ‘Findings’ in the Poetry of Richard Wilbur.” Presented at the Newman Centre, University of Toronto, October 2000.

“Robert Frost: The Presentation of Women.” Presented to Living and Learning in Retirement. York University, October 2001.

“T. S. Eliot’s Waste Land.” Presented to the University of Toronto Alumni Reading Group. October 2003.

“Women’s Voices in the Poetry of Robert Frost.” Presented to the University of Toronto Alumni Reading Group. October 2004.

The Waste Land: A Portrait of Loss.” Presented to the University of Toronto Alumni Reading Group. October 2006.

“Memory and Metaphor in Wordsworth’s “Ode. Intimations of Immortality.” Presented to the University of Toronto Alumni Reading Group. October 2008.

“Consolations of Syntax in the Poetry of Amy Clampitt.” Presented to the University of Toronto Alumni Reading Group. October 2009.


Julia Reibetanz has taught a wide spectrum of undergraduate courses throughout the English Program, including Effective Writing, Literature for Our Time, Twentieth Century British Literature, Romantic Poetry, Fiction 1900-1960, Poetry 1900-1960. She has also taught a number of senior-level seminars on single authors and specific periods, including Henry James, Patrick White, T. S. Eliot, Richard Wilbur, Amy Clampitt, the Greater Romantic Lyric, and Literature between the Wars: Narratives of Loss. However, her signature course was ENG 201Y Reading Poetry, which she developed and taught over a number of years. In this course, students were first grounded in poetic meters and verse forms, through a range of examples from medieval to contemporary poetry, and in rhetorical figures, through readings of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. In the second term, students went on to read the work of one poet in depth (Robert Frost), one long poem in depth (The Waste Land), and lyric poems by Wordsworth, Yeats, Stevens, Larkin, and Wilbur.

Current Research

A Passion Joined to Courtesy and Art: Syntax and Form in the Poetry of Richard Wilbur

This study will explore the complex relationship of syntax and form in Wilbur’s poetry. Whether Wilbur writes in strophic or stichic form, his syntax is essential to his construction of an interior awareness that links him to the “things of this world.” Like Amy Clampitt, Wilbur is intensely conscious of the power of syntax to connect. Nowhere is that clearer than in “Walking to Sleep,” where through a series of interdependent metaphors, he weaves a unitive consciousness in blank verse. Yet it is equally true of the strophic poems which constitute Wilbur’s signature voice. In “Fabrications” for instance, Wilbur spins a syntactical web which in its love of language upholds the “architrave” both of the poem’s form and of its vision – “all those loves which hint of love itself.” Wilbur “frames and weaves” words through syntactical complexities which are for him “wide-deploying motives of delight.” This study will explore his commitment this “passion joined to courtesy and art” extending throughout his work.

Site Information:

Site Tools:

Click below for directions to the University of Toronto!

University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Map of St. George Campus
Map of Mississauga Campus
Map of Scarborough Campus