1:00p-2:15p TR (30) 3 cr.
This course will be organized around intensive readings in the work of
five major American modernist poets of the first half of the twentieth
century: Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore,
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), and Langston Hughes. We will probably spend
two weeks or so on each of these poets, and the rest of the semester
will focus on postmodern or post-World War II American poets who
either react against these major modernist poets or whose contemporary
poetry can be understood as extending the traditions established by
Modernism is often defined as a project of "making it new," and
specifically a movement that defined itself as a rejection of
19th-century literary conventions. This course will therefore be
particularly concerned with the extent to which modernist poetry
created an alternative to romantic and Victorian poetics. In what
ways did modernist poets challenge basic assumptions about the
definition of "poetry" itself? What kinds of writing can count as a
poem? We will probably begin with some selections from the poetry and
prose writings of T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, to define the modernist
movement in poetry written in English, especially the Imagist
movement. Finally, we will consider the question of the relationship
between modernist and postmodernist poetics, using Paul Hoover's
Postmodern American Poetry anthology.
Course requirements will include two papers, a take-home midterm exam,
and a final exam.