Calling all poets! This is a survey course for students interested in poetry and poetics in the 20th century. The course features modernist poets Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and T.S. Eliot; war poets Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen; Harlem Renaissance poets Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Gwendolyn Bennett; postwar poets Silvia Plath and Elizabeth Bishop; and contemporary poets Amiri Baraka, Derek Walcott and Myung Mi Kim. We will read poetry alongside essays on poetics, manifestos and concurrent art movements.
In each of these different clusters, students will reconcile the formal innovations of modern poetry (new rhythms, plain speech, allusion) with cultural concerns (war, community, civil rights). Students will be asked to analyze the political potentials of modern poetry. How did modern poetry arise as a vital form of representing experience and in what directions are poets heading today? Creative and collaborative approaches to course material will be encouraged.