English | Topics in Current Literature
W664 | 5173 | Young


2:30p – 5:30p R

TOPIC: THE LONG POEM
AUTHORIZATION OF INSTRUCTOR REQUIRED.

Part epic, part sequence, and arguably all modern, the long poem has
proven a formidable force in twentieth-century poetry, even in
poets’ rejection or failure of the form.  For this course we will
explore the long poem from the midwestern modernism of Edgar Lee
Masters to the fragmented epic of Anne Carson.  Along the way, we
will explore questions of modernism, midwestern-ness, gender, race,
and music in the work of Muriel Rukeyeser, John Berryman, Langston
Hughes, Robert Lowell, and Quan Barry, to name a few.  We will
consider the long poem as both tradition and experiment, and wrestle
with whether a poem should reflect, refract, or try to order the
contemporary world.  Ultimately, we will conduct a history of modern
poetry through the long poem, and explore whether or not we can
imagine one without the other‹and expand our own writing in the
process.