Stuart Dischell Melissa Roth
130 McIver Building Teaching Intern
In this course we will survey English, Irish, and American poems written in the modern period. We will begin with precursors of modernism such as Whitman, Dickinson, Arnold, Hopkins, and Hardy and conclude possibly with the near contemporaries Lowell, Bishop, Brooks, Plath, Sexton, Jarrell, Roethke, Heaney, and Walcott. Most of our focus, however, will be upon, Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Moore, Williams, Frost, HD, Hughes, Cummings, Stevens, Auden and company.
Some class time will be dedicated to a historical and literary-historical approach to the poems in an effort to understand what is “modern” about modern poetry, what it means to be modern, and, of course, the literary movement called Modernism. We will attempt to contextualize modern poetry in English with developments in European poetry, such as Dadaism, Surrealism, Futurism, and Acmeism--as well as this poetry’s relationship to the innovations in the visual arts.
We will take a direct approach to the poems. Classes will be conducted in a lecture/discussion format. The student should come to class having read and read aloud several times the poems under consideration. Each poem should provoke the student into preparing questions and comments for classroom consideration.
Requirements: Class participation and attendance. (The student will lose one full
grade for every three classes that are skipped.) One memorization
assignment. Two short essays. Midterm examination. Final examination.
Style: All written assignments must by typed/word-processed double space
and allow a one and one half inch left hand margin and a one inch
right hand margin. There must also be a title page. The essays will
engage the student in the processes of literary interpretation, analysis, and comparison. Students are expected to conform to general principles of excellent written style.
Text: Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry edited by Ellmann and O’Clair.
Learning Goals: This course will give the student the tools to analyze and discuss
poems through a variety of approaches, including close readings and a craft lenses. The student will also learn to understand Modern Poetry in the context of concurrent historical and artistic acheivements.