ENGL 349: Modern Poetry (Winter 2015)

Make it new! Ezra Pound’s slogan has come to embody the spirit of experiment and taboo-breaking of modern poetry. Yet modern poetry’s relationship to novelty is more complicated than it seems, and many poets saw their innovations within the framework of the poetic tradition. Beginning with three 19th-century innovators—Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Gerard Manley Hopkins—we will chart the tensions that have occupied poets from the dawn of the 20th century to the years following the Second World War: the tensions between tradition and innovation, content and form, elitism and democracy, beauty and purpose, aesthetics and politics.

We will read poems by modernists like T.S. Eliot, H.D., Marianne Moore, and Langston Hughes, as well as late-modernist or post-modernist poems by W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, and John Ashbery; we will also read several manifestos and short pieces of criticism.

Required text (available at the Concordia Bookstore): The Norton Anthology of Modern & Contemporary Poetry, volume 1 (Modern Poetry)

Lectures are on Wednesday evenings from 18:00 to 20:15 in H-521.

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