ENGLISH 359 CONTEMPORARY POETRY
This will be an intensive course in contemporary poetry written in English. Although our emphasis and text concentrate on American poets, we will also consider poems by Philip Larkin (UK), Seamus Heaney (Irish), Derek Walcott (Carribean), and likely others, such as Eavan Boland (Irish), Ted Hughes (UK), or Les Murray (Australian).
For roughly the first half of the
semester, we will consider the poems and influence of post-war poets, including
and especially Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Randall Jarrell, John Berryman,
Theodore Roethke, and Allen Ginsburg as well as
figures such as Delmore Schwartz, Robert Hayden,
Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton. The second half will
be devoted to more contemporary poems and poets, including poets who will be
reading and visiting our campus. We will also consider the Beats, New
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. Three examinations.
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.
Goals: An understanding of the historical and aesthetic concerns underlying poetry. The ability to write analytically on poets and poetry.
Text: Contemporary American Poetry, seventh edition edited by Poulin and Waters