Modern American Poetry (1910-1955)

AML 5156
Fall 1997
Mondays 7 PM

Dr. Ernest Smith
Office 306B in HFA

About this Website:

This Website is an online resource for the Modern American Poetry course. Course requirements, assignments, and required texts are on the course syllabus handed out in class. This site provides additional resources useful for students in the class, including the course description, a list of recommended (but not required) biographies for the poets we'll study, and a list of links to Websites relevant to Modern American Poetry. The listed sites are meant to be starting points for your research; all of them contain links to similar sites for further exploration.

Course description:

This graduate course, also open to post-bac students since it is 5000-level, will explore major voices, texts, critics, and tendencies in American poetry from 1910-1955. I am assuming familiarity with the following poets/texts, and am therefore not including them on the reading list: Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (1855), Emily Dickinson's lyrics, and T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land (1922). If you have not recently read these works, take some time during the summer to review them, and to read a bit of criticism on each, for they are vital to modern American poetry. We will begin the course with Frost, often regarded as a quintessential American voice, and consider his work from both established and more recent critical positions. Then, by way of juxtaposition, we will read in Selected Cantos by Pound, and discuss how Pound, along with Eliot, shaped poetic modernism from abroad. Then we will consider Marianne Moore and Hart Crane, two modernists who began publishing important work during the 1920s. Next, Langston Hughes, who like Moore began what was to be a long career during the twenties. We will then devote a large portion of the class to the two poets who are arguably the most influential on American poetry of this century: William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. The fianl two poems will be long poems published during the 1940s: T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets and H.D.'s Trilogy.

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Site last updated: May 1997
This site masterminded by:
Melanie Woods (aka Miz Scarlett)