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Modern Poetry and Poetics

Purpose of Course  showclose

The decades between roughly 1890 and 1960 witnessed unprecedented efforts to create new art, new values, and a new culture in Europe and the United States to distance itself from the more socially acceptable works of late Victorian poets and artists. During this time, Western writers, artists, and intellectuals questioned the accepted aesthetic norms and produced radically experimental works of art and new understandings of what it means to live in modern times. The first half of the 20th century also witnessed the most devastating conflicts in Western history – the two World Wars and the Holocaust – and these events accelerated and profoundly influenced cultural changes. Modernist poetry – one of the most interesting cultural developments – emerged during this time.

While it is true that modernist poetic developments sprang up in unlikely and seemingly spontaneous ways, we will attempt to progress through this course in a roughly chronological manner. This is because, in many ways, even modern poetry retains a social form that can reflect the cultural and political situations in which it is written. The course starts with a theoretical consideration of modernity and modernism, as well as a brief introduction to poetics and some references to pre-modern Victorian poetic practices. This course then explores transitional, fin-de-siècle poetic innovations of the French symbolists and World War I poets. The course addresses early modernist movements like Imagism, Vorticism, and Futurism as well as the writings of High Modernism. A unit on African-American modernism, often referred to as the Harlem Renaissance, explores another crucial dimension. Finally, you will analyze how World War II and the Holocaust affected poetry.

By the end of the course, you will have studied the work of major American and British modernist poets, and you will have critically explored the characteristic techniques, concerns, and tropes of modern poetry.

 

The Course’s Grand Design

Two Bridges to Modernity

Think of this course in terms of two bridges. The shorter bridge is the main subject of this course, or modern poetry in a certain time period, being from the relative orderliness of the late 19th century (i.e., Victorian era) to the chaotic end of World War II and the potentialities for world-wide nuclear annihilation during the early 1960’s.

The Longer Bridge

The longer cultural bridge is the overarching philosophical paradigm shift to modernity, marked in literary terms on one end by John Milton’s 1674 Paradise Lost [Note: The best website for all of Milton’s poetry is The John Milton Reading Room at Dartmouth.] and on the other end by William Carlos Williams’ 1923 “The Red Wheelbarrow.” The really big question in this course is how did Western culture come from Milton’s confident “justifying the ways of God to men” in his epic poem:

Of Man’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste
Brought
Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till
one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing
Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of
Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the
chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav’ns and Earth
Rose
out of Chaos: . . .

to barely being able to hang on to the existence of reality itself with William Carlos Williams’ poem?

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

“So much depends” on what, Mr. Williams? Milton explained in gargantuan detail what depended on Adam’s tasting of the forbidden fruit, while William Carlos Williams leaves us with a 16 word enigma about a wheelbarrow and chickens.

The Shorter Bridge

The shorter bridge that this course on the modern represents is the one that connects the Victorian period to the start of our contemporary artistic endeavors. The one that begins near Tennyson’s “Into the valley of death rode the 6,000” and ends with the advent of the Beat poets with Ginsberg’s “Howl”: “dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix.” Ginsberg’s “Howl” in so many ways registers the culmination of the wars and the beginning of self-absorbed, contemporary poetry, which would be the subject for a subsequent course.

The main goal of this course is to show you the functioning of that shorter bridge. Hart Crane visualized it both concretely and metaphorically. For him, it was the “Brooklyn Bridge” itself. For me, it is the term modern.

On her death bed, Gertrude Stein’s last words expressed modern art’s continuing efforts to express the inexpressible in our center-less universe. “What is the answer?” she asked, and when no answer came she laughed and said: “Then, what is the question?” We will hear a number of 20th century poets try to explore these questions throughout this course.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to ENGL408: Modern Poetry and Poetics! General information about this course and its requirements can be found below.

Primary Resources: This course comprises a range of different free, online materials. However, it makes primary use of the following materials: Requirements for Completion:In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. You will also need to complete:
  • The Final Exam
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to study all of the resources and analyze the poems in this course.

In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again as many times as you wish.

Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 144.75 hours to complete. You will have unlimited access to the course and can approach the course in any way that you deem appropriate for your learning style and other time commitments. The course is projected over a traditional 15 week semester, so you may choose to do it in this time frame, or you may take less time or more time. Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time. It may be useful to take a look at these advisories, to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take approximately 12.5 hours to complete. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunits 1.1 through 1.2.2 (a total of 4.25 hours) on Monday night; subunits 1.2.3 through 1.2.5 (a total of 4.5 hours) on Tuesday night; subunit 1.3 (a total of 3.75 hours) on Wednesday night; etc.

Tips/Suggestions: As you study the poems in this course, keep in mind that it may help to read each poem on the page as well as out loud. This course covers a wide variety of literary styles; therefore, it is essential to keep careful notes as you study. Write down the names of any style, movement, poet, literary conventions used by that poet, and interpretations you have about the poem. Review your notes from previous units before starting a new unit so that comparisons between the various styles and movements of modernist poetry will be more apparent. These notes will also be very useful as a review as you study and prepare for your final exam.
 
It may also be useful to post any answers to the study questions found in the instructions for each resource to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and review as well as respond to some other students’ posts.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
  • define the term modernism with regard to Anglo-American poetry, and describe how it is distinct from the descriptor late-Victorian;
  • closely read (i.e., explicate) the poetics of representative examples of modern poetry;
  • discuss the transitional aspects between late-Victorian and modernism;
  • analyze a wide variety of modernist poems by comparing and contrasting them in terms of form, content, and rhetorical purpose;
  • chronologically organize the most important British and American modernist poets into definable categories or movements;
  • distinguish low modernism from the high modernism of Pound and Eliot;
  • identify and analyze political and activist aspects of modernist poetry with specific reference to the Harlem Renaissance; and
  • analyze the socio-political context of the modernist movements in America and Europe in the first half of the 20th century with special emphasis on the relationship between poetry, the two World Wars, and the Holocaust.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft and Adobe PDF files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, .pdf, etc.);

√    have competency in the English language;

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook; and

√    It is recommended that you have already completed the following courses from the Core Program of the English discipline: ENGL101, ENGL201, ENGL202, ENGL203, ENGL204, and ENGL301.

Unit Outline show close


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  • Unit 1: The Province of Modern Poetry  

    This course will attempt to snake its way chronologically through the poetry produced in the first half of the 20th century under the literary banner of modernism. In Unit 1, we will begin by defining modernism and reviewing the poetry and poets that preceded modern poetry in the Victorian era. With the objective of defining modernism in mind, we will explore what modern is NOT – that is, you will explore those 19th-century assumptions and conventions that modern poets sought to dissociate themselves from and the socio-historical context in which they had developed. This unit contains a sampler of the Victorian-era establishment-approved poets – Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, Matthew Arnold, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and John Greenleaf Whittier – that the modernist poets so self-consciously rebelled against. The modernist poets also rebelled against those societies that produced World War I, World War II, and the Cold War.
     
    Fortunately, the most familiar American poet, Robert Frost, emerged at the beginning of the modernist movement. Frost is the poet that Professor Langdon Hammer first chooses to introduce in his “Modern Poetry” course at Yale University. The unit will lead into an introduction of modern poets through a study of Robert Frost. Finally, this unit will conclude with a general discussion of characteristic modernist concerns as they tend to be defined by scholars.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 What Does the Term Modern Mean?  
  • 1.1.1 Modernism: Historical Background and Preliminary Definitions  
  • 1.1.2 Differentiating Our Modernist Terminology  
  • 1.2 A Victorian-Era Sampler: The Moderns Antithesis  
  • 1.2.1 Alfred, Lord Tennyson  
  • 1.2.2 Rudyard Kipling  
  • 1.2.3 Matthew Arnold  
    • Reading: Victorian Web: Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach”

      Link: Victorian Web: Matthew Arnold's “Dover Beach” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Arnold’s poem, “Dover Beach.” Note the qualities of the poem that make it particular to its time, such as nature imagery, sensory imagery, song-like rhythm, rhyme scheme, and others. “Dover Beach” is Arnold's fatalistic warning to hold onto the sweetness of a moment as long as possible before the imperial giant England, poised on the precipice of Dover's cliffs, is “swept [off] with confused alarms of struggle and flight / Where ignorant armies clash at night.”

      Reading this poem should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Victorian Web: Julia Touche’s “Arnold’s ‘Dover Beach’: A Commentary”

      Link: Victorian Web: Julia Touche’s “Arnold’s ‘Dover Beach’: A Commentary” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: After you have studied the poem “Dover Beach,” read Julia Touche’s commentary on the poem’s structure, form, tone, and theme.
       
      Reading this commentary should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2.4 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  
  • 1.2.5 John Greenleaf Whittier  
  • 1.3 Introduction to Modern Poetry and Robert Frost  
    • Lecture: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 1: Introduction to Modern Poetry”

      Link: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 1: Introduction to Modern Poetry” (Adobe Flash, QuickTime, HTML, Mp3)
       
      Instructions: Watch the lecture titled “Introduction to Modern Poetry.” As you view the lecture, note how Professor Hammer identifies the goals of modernist poets and their means of breaking with traditional forms and conventions.
       
      Write a paragraph about each poet discussed in this lecture. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.
       
      Watching this lecture, pausing to take notes, and completing the writing activity above should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Poem Hunter: Robert Frost’s “Out, Out” and “Mowing”

      Link: Poem Hunter: Robert Frost’s “Out, Out” (HTML) and “Mowing” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Robert Frost’s poems, “Out, Out” and “Mowing.” Note the applicable characteristics of modernist poetry that Professor Hammer describes in his lecture.
       
      As you read, consider the following study question and writing prompt: What effects does Frost try to achieve? Write a brief interpretation of each poem.
       
      Studying these poems, answering the question above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Lecture: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 2: Robert Frost”

      Link: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 2: Robert Frost” (Adobe Flash, QuickTime, HTML, Mp3)

      Instructions: Watch the lecture titled “Robert Frost.”
       
      As you view this lecture, consider the following study questions: How does Professor Hammer’s interpretation of the poems “Out, Out” and “Mowing” compare to your own? Revisit Whittier’s poem, “Telling the Bees.” How might this poem have influenced the American vernacular used by Frost?

      Watching this lecture, pausing to take notes, and answering the questions above should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 1 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 1 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 1 Assessment” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Consider the essay prompts for this assessment, and craft an essay founded on your readings from this unit. After writing your essay, use the “Rubric for Effectively Written College-Level Essays” (PDF) to self-evaluate your writing.
       
      Tips and Suggestions: If you have an ePortfolio account, then it may be beneficial to upload or link to your essay from the Work Samples section of your profile. In combination with the Study Groups function or the ENGL408 Discussion Forum, using your ePortfolio profile may be a good way to receive peer feedback on your written work. If you do not yet have an ePortfolio account, you can create one here, free of charge.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 3 hours.

  • Unit 2: The French Symbolists: The Fountainhead of Modernism  

    Now that you have a good sense of the conventions and assumptions that the modernists resisted, we will turn our attention to the French Symbolists in this unit. By studying the material in this unit, you will be able to answer questions about the relationship between Anglo-American modern poetry of the 20th century and the French Symbolist poetry of the 19th century. You will be able to distinguish the avant-garde poetic experiments of three of the best known poets of this movement: Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, and Stéphane Mallarmé. You will also be able to recognize how those experiments became the fountainhead of modernism.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Concepts of Truth and Elements of Mystery in French Symbolist Poetry  
    • Reading: Poets.org: The Academy of American Poets’ “A Brief Guide to the Symbolists”

      Link: Poets.org: The Academy of American Poets’ “A Brief Guide to the Symbolists” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this introduction to the French Symbolists. Then, follow the links in the left column under “Related Authors” to read the full entries about Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, and Stéphane Mallarmé.
       
      As you read, consider the following study questions: What were the most important characteristics of French Symbolism? How did Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé contribute to symbolist poetics? What connections do you see between each of their lives and their literary experiments? 

      Reading these sections and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.2 Charles Baudelaire, Father of Modern Poetry  
    • Reading: Poem Hunter: Charles Baudelaire’s “Correspondences,” “Invitation to a Voyage,” and “Cats”

      Link: Poem Hunter: Charles Baudelaire’s “Correspondences” (HTML), “Invitation to a Voyage” (HTML), and “Cats” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Baudelaire’s poems, “Correspondences” and “Invitation to a Voyage,” as well as all of the provided translations of “Cats.”
       
      As you read the poems, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: What are the most important stylistic and imagery-related differences between “Correspondences” and “Invitation to a Voyage”? Why are the translations of “Cats” different from one another? Why is Symbolist poetry particularly difficult to translate? When you compare Baudelaire’s poems with the Victorian poems you studied in Unit 1, what are the most important differences? Do you perceive any similarities? Take a moment to write down a paragraph in which you summarize your analysis, and consider posting this to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board.

      Studying these poems, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 2.3 Arthur Rimbaud, Stéphane Mallarmé, and the French Symbolists  
    • Reading: Black Cat Poems: Arthur Rimbaud’s “Dawn,” “Departure,” “Eternity,” and “Sleep”

      Link: Black Cat Poems: Arthur Rimbaud’s “Dawn” (HTML), “Departure” (HTML), “Eternity” (HTML), and “Sleep” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read all four poems: “Dawn,” “Departure,” “Eternity,” and “Sleep.” Note that a literary symbol is something, such as an object, picture, written word, or sound, which represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention. Recall from “A Brief Guide to Symbolists” in subunit 2.1: “The ‘symbols’ for which they are named are emblems of the actual world – as opposed to the purely emotional world which dominates their work – that accumulate supernatural significance in the absence of a clear narrative or location.”
       
      As you read these poems, consider the ways in which Rimbaud use symbols and/or symbolic language to engage his readers. Identify the symbols used by Rimbaud, and write down all of associations that they elicit in your mind.

      Studying these poems and completing the activity described above should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

    • Reading: Angelfire: Stéphane Mallarmé’s “Afternoon of a Faun”

      Link: Angelfire: Stéphane Mallarmé’s “Afternoon of a Faun” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Mallarmé’s poem, “Afternoon of a Faun.”
       
      As you read, consider the symbols and/or symbolic language that Mallarmé used to engage his readers. Identify the symbols used by Mallarmé, and write down all of the associations that they elicit in your mind.
       
      Reading this poem and completing the activity described above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 2 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 2 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 2 Assessment” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Consider the essay prompts for this assessment, and craft an essay founded on your readings from this unit. After writing your essay, use the “Rubric for Effectively Written College-Level Essays” (PDF) to self-evaluate your writing.
       
      Tips and Suggestions: If you have an ePortfolio account, then it may be beneficial to upload or link to your essay from the Work Samples section of your profile. In combination with the Study Groups function or the ENGL408 Discussion Forum, using your ePortfolio profile may be a good way to receive peer feedback on your written work. If you do not yet have an ePortfolio account, you can create one here, free of charge.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 3 hours.

  • Unit 3: Early Modernist Movements: Symbolism, Imagism, and Their Relatives  

    From a contemporary poet’s perspective that often simplifies the initial choice of directions between formalist verse such as Dylan Thomas' famous villanelle “Do not go gentle into that good night” and free verse such as e.e. cummings’ “spring is like a perhaps / Hand in a window,” the existence of so many, often contentious movements, in modern poetry (1900–1960) seems peculiar. What may be even stranger is that almost every movement is backed by a revolutionary manifesto, arguing that movement’s greater understanding of the true nature or purpose of its brand of poetry, published in its own special journal.
     
    Jeanine Johnson in her book, Why Write Poetry?: Modern Poets Defending Their Art, attempts to sum up the rationale behind the plethora of poetic movements that sprung up throughout the 20th century:
     
    Pope and Tennyson could assume, in a way that Eliot and Pound could not, that the interpretive equipment their readers brought to their poems was more or less adequate and therefore, the modern poets wrote manifestoes and critical prose in unprecedented quantities to try to communicate to readers the principles at work behind their poems. . . . Many of these manifestoes promoted a particular type of or approach to poetry. These were defences of imagism, vorticism, futurism, and objectivism; of the Fugitives and neo-symbolists; of an authentic “Negro” or African-American literature as envisioned in a certain way by Langston Hughes in Fire!! (1926), and in other ways by later authors such as Amiiri Baraka and Audre Lorde; of Projective Verse and of the works of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets; of Beat poetry and of feminist confessional poetry.”
     
    In this unit, we will consider an extensive sampling of some of these movements, including Symbolism and Imagism. We will discuss other movements, such as the more radical movements of Futurism, Vorticism, Objectivism, and High Modernism, in greater detail in Units 3, 5, and 6 of this course, metaphorically interrupted by Unit 4’s coverage of the most defining event of the 20th century, World War I.
     
    This unit opens with a comparison of Symbolism to Victorian era poetry. This unit will discuss the incorporation of Symbolism into modern British poetic expression, such as with W.B. Yeats, and American poetic expressions, such as with Wallace Stevens, and will then turn to the various other “–isms” that were cultivated in the early 1900s, examining their poetics, practices, and concerns.This unit attempts to define Imagism and then continues to explore Imagism and its sister poetic movements with names like Amygism as well as Movement and Stasis. Imagism is the name given to a movement in poetry, originating in 1912 and represented by Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), Wallace Stevens, Richard Aldington, F.S. Flint, John Gould Fletcher, Harriet Monroe, Marianne Moore, and others. Imagism aims at clarity of expression through the use of precise visual images. In the early period, the word was often written in the French form Imagisme as an extension of the practice of the 19th century French Symbolists studied in Unit 2.

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 The Decadent Symbolists  
  • 3.2 William Butler Yeats and the Early Use of Irish Mythology  
    • Reading: Poetry Foundation: William Butler Yeats’ “The Song of Wandering Aengus” and “A Coat”

      Link: Poetry Foundation: William Butler Yeats’ “The Song of Wandering Aengus” (HTML) and Allpoetry: “A Coat” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Yeats’ poems, “The Song of Wandering Aengus” and “A Coat.”
       
      As you read, consider the following study question and writing prompt: How does Symbolism enter into Yeats’ poetry? For each poem, write a paragraph in which you analyze the poem’s dominant symbols. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Studying these poems, answering the question above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: WikiSource: William Butler Yeats’ “The Madness of King Goll”

      Link: WikiSource: William Butler Yeats’ “The Madness of King Goll” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Yeats’ poem, “The Madness of King Goll.” This poem presents itself as a monologue and an ode to the Irish spirit.
       
      As you read, consider the following question and writing prompt: How might the poet represent himself through King Goll? How might the use of myth correspond to the use of symbolism? Write a paragraph analyzing the dominant symbols in this poem and any metaphorical relationship between the poet and character of King Goll. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.
       
      Reading this poem, answering the question above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Lecture: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 4: William Butler Yeats”

      Link: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 4: William Butler Yeats” (Adobe Flash, QuickTime, HTML, Mp3)

      Instructions: Watch the “William Butler Yeats” lecture. In this lecture, Professor Hammer analyzes two of Yeats’ poems: “The Song of the Wandering Aengus” and “A Coat.” Professor Hammer also proposes that Yeats, in a certain sense, identified with King Goll. Consider how Professor Hammer’s connections between the poet and King Goll compare or contrast to your own ideas about this subject that you wrote about after reading the poem, “The Madness of King Goll.”

      As you view this lecture, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: What are the most important elements of Professor Hammer’s analysis of “The Song of the Wandering Aengus” and “A Coat”? How does his analysis differ from yours? Write one or two paragraphs to summarize your thoughts. Consider posting your written response to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Watching this lecture, pausing to take notes, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Poetry Archive: William Butler Yeats’ “To the Rose upon the Rood of Time”

      Link: Poetry Archive: William Butler Yeats’ “To the Rose upon the Rood of Time” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Yeats’ poem, “To the Rose upon the Rood of Time.” As you read, identify the poem’s formal features, its themes, and its use of symbolism and imagery.

      Reading this poem and identifying its features should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

    • Reading: Poetry Foundation: William Butler Yeats’ “The Wild Swans at Coole”

      Link: Poetry Foundation: William Butler Yeats’ “The Wild Swans at Coole” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Yeats’ poem, “The Wild Swans at Coole.” Identify the formal features, themes, and use of symbolism and imagery in this poem.
       
      Reading this poem and identifying its features should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: William Butler Yeats’ “The Symbolism of Poetry”

      Link: William Butler Yeats’ “The Symbolism of Poetry” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: After reading Yeats’ poems in this subunit, read Yeats’ essay, “The Symbolism of Poetry.”
       
      As you read, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: How is Yeats’ approach to Symbolism different from that of Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé? Write a few paragraphs about what Yeats is trying to achieve through Symbolism. Once you have read this essay, return to one or two of Yeats’ poems in this subunit and identify examples that support your ideas. Consider posting your written response to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.
       
      Reading this essay, answering the question above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.3 Wallace Stevens as an American Symbolist  
  • 3.4 What Is Imagism?  
    • Reading: University of Pennsylvania: Dr. Al Filreis’ “Imagism”

      Link: University of Pennsylvania: Dr. Al Filreis’ “Imagism” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this brief text for definitions and characteristics of Imagism and Imagists.

      Reading this text should take less than 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Wikipedia: “Imagism”

      Link: Wikipedia: “Imagism” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read “Imagism” for an overview of the movement as well as the publications and poets associated with the movement.
       
      Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Lecture: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 8: Imagism”

      Link: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 8: Imagism” (HTML)

      Instructions: View this lecture, focusing on how Professor Hammer defines Imagism and what he identifies as the most important characteristics of Imagist poems.
      After listening to the lecture and completing the reading in this subunit, write a paragraph that defines the Imagist movement, describes its main characteristics, and identifies which movements Imagism opposed. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Watching this lecture, pausing to take notes, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.5 Ezra Pound’s Early Experiments with Symbolism and Imagism  
    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: “Biography of Ezra Pound”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: “Biography of Ezra Pound” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this biographical essay on Ezra Pound. Take notes on the text as you read about Pound’s various leadership positions with regard to the Imagist and Symbolist movements.

      Reading this essay should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: Ezra Pound’s “A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: Ezra Pound’s “A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Pound’s essay on what not to do as an Imagist. As you read, consider the following study questions: How does Pound define Imagism? How does he discuss the process of translating poetry? Write a brief paragraph to summarize your thoughts. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reading this essay, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Poetry Foundation: Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” and “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter”

      Link: Poetry Foundation: Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” (HTML) and “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Pound’s poems, “In a Station of the Metro” and “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter.”
       
      As you study these poems, consider the following questions and writing prompt: What do these poems express about the modern condition? In what ways does each poem’s form depart from traditional poetic norms? What is the effect of introducing references to Chinese culture in the second poem? Write a few paragraphs that describes Ezra Pound’s connection to Imagism and Symbolism through an analysis of these poems. Consider posting your written response to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Studying these poems, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 3.6 H.D.’s Imagist Poems  
    • Reading: University of Pennsylvania: H.D.’s “Sea Rose”

      Link: University of Pennsylvania: H.D.’s “Sea Rose” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read H.D.’s poem, “Sea Rose.” As you read, consider the following study questions: What is the dominant imagery in this poem? Does the poem allow you to form unambiguous images in your mind? Why, or why not?

      Reading this poem and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

    • Reading: Poetry Foundation: H.D.’s “Oread”

      Link: Poetry Foundation: H.D.’s “Oread” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read H.D.’s poem, “Oread.” As you read, consider the following study questions: What is the dominant imagery in this poem? Does this poem allow you to form ambiguous images in your mind? Why, or why not?
       
      Reading this poem and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.7 Amy Lowell’s Imagism and Amygism  
    • Reading: Modern American Poetry: Amy Lowell’s “On Imagism”

      Link: Modern American Poetry: Amy Lowell’s “On Imagism” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Lowell’s essay, “On Imagism.” The term Amygism was used by Ezra Pound in resistance to Lowell’s theories on Imagism.
       
      As you read, consider the following study questions: How is Amygism both similar to yet different from Imagism? Why might Pound take issue with how Amy Lowell describes the main concerns of Imagist poets? Consider how Pound’s “A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste” compares to Lowell’s “On Imagism.”

      Reading this essay and answering the questions above should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: American Poems: Amy Lowell’s “The Green Bowl” and “Patterns”

      Link: American Poems: Amy Lowell’s “The Green Bowl” (HTML) and “Patterns” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Lowell’s poems, “The Green Bowl” and “Patterns.” As you read, consider the following study question and writing prompt: How do these poems implement or step away from the rules of Imagist poets as indicated in the essay, “On Imagism”? Write a summary about how these poems address the tenets of Imagism. Consider posting your written response to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.
       
      Studying these poems, answering the question above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 3.8 Marianne Moore: The Grand Promoter  
  • 3.9 William Carlos Williams: Movement and Stasis  
    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: “Biography of William Carlos Williams”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: “Biography of William Carlos Williams” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read William Carlos Williams’ biography. As you read, take notes about the most important turning points in Williams’ life and writing.

      Reading this article should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Lecture: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 16: William Carlos Williams”

      Link: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 16: William Carlos Williams” (Adobe Flash, QuickTime, HTML, Mp3)

      Instructions: View this lecture on William Carlos Williams, focusing on how Professor Hammer characterizes Williams’ poems.

      As you view this lecture, consider the following study question: What do you see as the most important differences between Williams’ poems and the poems of other Imagists?

      Watching this lecture, pausing to take notes, and answering the question above should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: William Carlos Williams’ “The Poem as a Field of Action”

      Link: William Carlos Williams’ “The Poem as a Field of Action” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Williams’ 1948 essay, “The Poem as a Field of Action.” As you read, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: How are ideas presented in this essay related to Imagist theories you studied earlier in this unit? What elements are new here? Write a paragraph to summarize your thoughts. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reading this essay, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: University of Pennsylvania: William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow”

      Link: University of Pennsylvania: William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Williams’ poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow,” which was presented in the course introduction in comparison to Milton. As you revisit this poem, consider the following study questions: In “The Red Wheelbarrow,” the first stanza is very different from the ones that follow. What is the difference? What is the effect of this juxtaposition on the reader?

      Reading this poem and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Poets.org: William Carlos Williams’ “This Is Just to Say”

      Link: Poets.org: William Carlos Williams’ “This Is Just to Say” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Williams’ poem, “This Is Just to Say.” As you read, consider the following study questions: How does “This is Just to Say” illustrate the principles of Imagism? What tone comes across in this poem?
       
      Reading this poem and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 3 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3 Assessment” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Consider the essay prompts for this assessment, and craft an essay founded on your readings from this unit. After writing your essay, use the “Rubric for Effectively Written College-Level Essays” (PDF) to self-evaluate your writing.
       
      Tips and Suggestions: If you have an ePortfolio account, then it may be beneficial to upload or link to your essay from the Work Samples section of your profile. In combination with the Study Groups function or the ENGL408 Discussion Forum, using your ePortfolio profile may be a good way to receive peer feedback on your written work. If you do not yet have an ePortfolio account, you can create one here, free of charge.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 3 hours.

  • Unit 4: Poetry of World War I and Its Aftermath  

    While poets experimented with new poetic forms and styles, Europe was consumed by war. In this unit, you will chart the progression of attitudes toward the war as expressed through poetry, beginning with the patriotic verses of the early war years and continuing through some of the bitterer, disillusioned lyrical poems of the late war years. You will study changes in form, tone, and style, all the while noting the degree to which the war’s major poets adhered to traditional (19th-century) conventions and hypothesizing reasons for that allegiance despite the explosion of avant-garde trends. In this unit, you will study poems by Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, Rudyard Kipling, and e.e. cummings.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 Off to War – the Chivalric Ideal  
    • Reading: Voices Education: Siegfried Sassoon’s “The Dragon and the Undying”

      Link: Voices Education: Siegfried Sassoon’s “The Dragon and the Undying” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Sassoon’s poem, “The Dragon and the Undying.” As you read this poem, consider the following study questions and write down some notes with your responses to help prepare you for the upcoming written assignment in this subunit: Does this poem attempt to provide a realistic depiction of modern war? What words and phrases point to a romanticized vision of battle? What emotional effects does this poem produce in the reader? Why might this poem be considered the chivalric ideal? How do you think English audiences reacted to this poem during the time of World War I?

       
      Reading this poem and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

    • Reading: Rupert Brooke’s “The Soldier”

      Link: Rupert Brooke’s “The Soldier” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Brooke’s poem, “The Soldier.” As you read this poem, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: Does this poem attempt to provide a realistic depiction of modern war? What words and phrases point to a romanticized vision of battle? What emotional effects does this poem produce in the reader? Why might this poem be considered the chivalric ideal? How do you think English audiences reacted to this poem during the time of World War I? How does Brooke’s poem compare and contrast to Sassoon’s poem? Write a few paragraphs that respond to these questions and that aim to compare Brooke’s and Sassoon’s poems. Consider posting your written response to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.
       
      Reading this poem, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2 Realities of Modern Warfare  
  • 4.3 The Great War and Poetry: Reflection, Disillusionment, and Bitter Critique  
  • 4.4 Poets’ Indictment of the War and European Civilization  
  • 4.4.1 Siegfried Sassoon  
    • Reading: Siegfried Sassoon’s “Repression of War Experience” and “The Rear-Guard”

      Link: : Siegfried Sassoon’s “Repression of War Experience” (HTML) and “The Rear-Guard” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Sassoon’s poems, “Repression of War Experience” and “The Rear-Guard.” For each poem, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: What do these poems say about the soldier’s experience in war? What do these poems tell us about World War I? Who is the intended audience? How would you characterize the poet’s relationship to that audience? How would you explain the sources of these various poet-audience relationships? Collectively, what do these poems say about European culture? Write one to three paragraphs to summarize your insights and analysis. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Studying these poems, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

    • Reading: AftermathWWI.com: Siegfried Sassoon’s “On Passing the New Menin Gate”

      Link: AftermathWWI.com: Siegfried Sassoon’s “On Passing the New Menin Gate” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Sassoon’s poem, “On Passing the New Menin Gate.” As you read this poem, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: What does this poem say about World War I and war in general? Who is the intended audience? How would you characterize the speaker’s relationship to that audience? What does this poem say about European culture? Write a few paragraphs to summarize your insights and analysis. Consider posting your written response to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reading this poem, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.4.2 Wilfred Owens  
    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: Wilfred Owens’ “Arms and the Boy,” “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” and “Dulce et Decorum Est”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: Wilfred Owens’ “Arms and the Boy” (HTML), “Anthem for Doomed Youth” (HTML), and “Dulce et Decorum Est” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Owens’ poems: “Arms and the Boy,” “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” and “Dulce et Decorum Est.”
       
      For each poem, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: What is the tone of each poem? What do these poems say about the involvement of youth in war? Who is the intended audience? How would you characterize the poet’s relationship to that audience? How would you explain the sources of these various poet-audience relationships? Collectively, what do these poems say about European culture? How do Owens’ poems compare to those of Sassoon? Write two or three paragraphs to summarize your insights and conclusions. Consider posting your written response to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Studying these poems, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 4.4.3 John McCrae  
    • Reading: John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields”

      Link: John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read McCrae’s poem, “In Flanders Fields.” As you read, consider the following study questions: In what ways do you see McCrae challenging the concept of war in this text? How does McCrae’s poem compare to those of Sassoon and Owens?

      Reading this poem and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.4.4 Rudyard Kipling’s Change of Heart  
    • Reading: Web-Books.com: Rudyard Kipling’s “Epitaphs of the War”

      Link: Web-Books.com: Rudyard Kipling’s “Epitaphs of the War” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Kipling’s poem, “Epitaphs of the War.” As you read, consider the following study questions: How does this poem compare and contrast to Kipling’s poems that you have read earlier (see subunit 1.3.2)? How does Kipling’s approach to patriotism in “Epitaphs of the War” differ from the poems in subunit 1.3.2?

      Reading this poem and answering the question above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Great War Literature Magazine: W. Lawrance’s “Rudyard Kipling – Author, Poet, and Quintessential Englishman”

      Link: Great War Literature Magazine: W. Lawrance’s “Rudyard Kipling – Author, Poet, and Quintessential Englishman” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this article to learn about the events that changed Kipling’s view of the war. Then, go back and re-read “Epitaphs of the War.”
       
      As you read this article and review the poem, consider the following study questions: How does this article inform your analysis of “Epitaphs of the War”? How would you describe Kipling’s change of heart, or changing attitude?
       
      Reading this article, re-reading “Epitaphs of the War,” and answering the questions above should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.4.5 e.e. cummings  
    • Reading: Poets.org: e.e. cummings’ “i sing of Olaf glad and big”

      Link: Poets.org: e.e. cummings’ “i sing of Olaf glad and big” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read cummings’ poem, “i sing of Olaf glad and big.” e.e. cummings spent time as a volunteer ambulance driver at the front in World War I, similar to Ernest Hemingway. He returned with a far more negative position than Hemingway and was very active in articulating his position during the lead up to World War II.
       
      As you read this poem, consider the following study questions: How is this poem a pacifist poem? What is the speaker’s position on war? How might one read this poem as an anti-war poem? How does this poem compare and contrast to Kipling’s “Epitaphs of the War” in terms of the genre of war poetry?
       
      Reading this poem and answering the questions above should take approximately 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Literature of Poetry: e.e. cummings’ “next to of course god america I”

      Link: The Literature of Poetry: e.e. cummings’ “next to of course god america I” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read e.e. cummings’ poem, “next to of course god america i.” Also, read the commentary that follows the poem. Finally, listen to the recording of cummings reading this poem.
       
      As you read the poem and listen to the recording, consider the following study questions: How is this poem a pacifist poem? What is the speaker’s position on war? How does the speaker reconcile patriotism and anti-war sentiments in this poem? How does this poem compare and contrast to Kipling’s “Epitaphs of the War” in terms of the genre of war poetry?
       
      Reading this poem, reading the commentary, listening to the recording, and answering the questions above should take approximately 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Harvard Magazine: Adam Kirsch’s “The Rebellion of E.E. Cummings”

      Link: Harvard Magazine: Adam Kirsch’s “The Rebellion of E.E. Cummings” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this article about the range of cummings’ anti-establishment perspective. Then, go back and re-read the poems by cummings in this subunit.
       
      As you read this article and revisit the poems in this subunit, consider the following study question: How does this article inform your reading of these poems?
       
      Reading this article, re-reading the poems in this subunit, and answering the question above should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.5 Post-War Georgian Poetry and the Emergence of Modernist Poetry  
    • Reading: Poetry X: Walter de la Mare’s “The Truants”

      Link: Poetry X: Walter de la Mare’s “The Truants” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Walter de la Mare’s poem, written in 1920. As you read, consider the following study question: What are the most important differences between this poem and the war-time poems you studied in this unit?

      Reading this poem and answering the question above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Literature Study Online: Stephen Colbourn’s “The Georgian Poets and the War Poets”

      Link: Literature Study Online: Stephen Colbourn’s “The Georgian Poets and the War Poets” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this essay on the Georgian poets and war poets. After reading this essay, re-read Mare’s poem in this subunit.
       
      As you read this essay and revisit the poem, consider the following study question and writing prompt: How does this essay inform your reading of “The Truants”? Write a paragraph that links the experience of World War I and the emergence of a distinctive modernist poetic style. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reading this essay, answering the question above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 4 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 4 Assessment” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Consider the essay prompts for this assessment, and craft an essay founded on your readings from this unit. After writing your essay, use the “Rubric for Effectively Written College-Level Essays” (PDF) to self-evaluate your writing.
       
      Tips and Suggestions: If you have an ePortfolio account, then it may be beneficial to upload or link to your essay from the Work Samples section of your profile. In combination with the Study Groups function or the ENGL408 Discussion Forum, using your ePortfolio profile may be a good way to receive peer feedback on your written work. If you do not yet have an ePortfolio account, you can create one here, free of charge.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 3 hours.

  • Unit 5: Other Modernist Movements: Futurism, Vorticism, and Objectivism  

    In this unit, you will study a sampling of the manifestos behind the poetry of three competing poetic movements from the 1910s to 1930s: Futurism, Vorticism, and Objectivism. This unit will work to define and characterize these movements. Futurism, often associated with Marinetti’s Manifesto of Futurism, was an artistic and social movement that aimed to reject traditional forms of art (i.e., for poetry, rejecting the rules that govern prosody) and focused on imagery as well as precision. Futurist poets highlighted concepts of the future and developed a new language with the play of syntax and alternative substitutions for meter, in the traditional sense. Vorticism, first introduced by Pound’s essay “Vortex” in BLAST, was inspired by Cubism as well as embraced the focus on the mechanical age presented in Futurism. Vorticism focused on abstraction and typographical exploration, and it aimed to capture movement and stillness within an image. In 1930, Objectivism was coined by William Carlos Williams; in consideration of writing, he described this as having “a special eye to its structural aspects, how it has been constructed.…” This concept was expanded on by Louis Zukofsky, who reluctantly pioneered Objectivism at Harriet Monroe’s request to give a name to his associated group of poets. In response to Monroe, Zukofsky said, “No, some of us are writing to say things simply so that they will affect us as new again.” The Objectivist agenda, as defined by Zukofsky, aimed for simplicity and clarity, attempted to create something new, and treated a poem as an object. As you study the material in this unit, consider how these movements compare and contrast to the rhetorical aim of Imagism.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 What Is Futurism?  
    • Reading: Princeton University Press: Christine Poggi’s Inventing Futurism: The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism: “Chapter 1: Futurist Velocities”

      Link: Princeton University Press: Christine Poggi’s Inventing Futurism: The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism: “Chapter 1: Futurist Velocities” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read “Chapter 1: Futurist Velocities,” and take careful notes on the Futurist movement.
       
      As you read, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: How did Futurism differ from Imagism and 19th-century Symbolism? What did these movements have in common? Write a paragraph or two that compares and contrasts the rhetorical aims of these movements. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reading this chapter, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: Mina Loy’s “Aphorisms on Futurism,” “Lunar Baedeker,” and “Giovanni Franchi”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: Mina Loy’s “Aphorisms on Futurism” (HTML), “Lunar Baedeker” (HTML), and “Giovanni Franchi” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Mina Loy’s three poems: “Aphorisms on Futurism,” “Lunar Baedeker,” and “Giovanni Franchi.” Also, read the introductory note to “Aphorisms on Futurism” as well as read Jessica Burstein’s article, accessible by clicking on the “Poem Guide” tab for “Lunar Baedeker.”
       
      As you read these poems, consider the following study questions: How do Loy’s poems represent or depart from Futurist poems? How does gender figure in these poems? How might one provide a Feminist interpretation of her poems? Write a paragraph or two to summarize your thoughts. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Studying these poems, reading the article, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 3 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.1.1 Italian Futurism  
    • Reading: wendtroot.com: “Italian Futurism”

      Link: wendtroot.com: “Italian Futurism” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this article on Italian Futurism, and take notes in order to compare and contrast Italian Futurism with aspects of other modern poetry movements that have already been discussed. Later on, you may use your notes to also draw comparisons among Futurism, Vorticism, and Objectivism.

      Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: University of Pennsylvania: Filippo Marinetti’s Excerpts from Manifesto of Futurism

      Link: University of Pennsylvania: Filippo Marinetti’s Excerpts from Manifesto of Futurism (HTML)

      Instructions: Read these two excerpts from Filippo Marinetti’s hugely influential 1909 Manifesto of Futurism: “The Joy of Mechanical Force” and “Futurist Manifesto.”
       
      As you read these excerpts, consider the following study questions: Why do you think there was such an emphasis on the future during this era? What are the dominant images in this manifesto? How does it represent modernity? Is the individual person important? Are there any anti-humanist or violent elements in this text? What should a Futurist poet strive for in his or her art? How does Loy’s “Aphorisms on Futurism” compare to Marinetti’s Manifesto of Futurism? What are the most important differences between the two texts? Write a paragraph to summarize your thoughts. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reading these texts, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.1.2 Russian Futurism  
    • Reading: Poets.org: “A Brief Guide to Futurism” and “Biography of Vladimir Mayakovsky”

      Link: Poets.org: “A Brief Guide to Futurism” (HTML) and “Biography of Vladimir Mayakovsky” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read the guide to Futurism and take notes to learn about the distinctions between Italian Futurism and Russian Futurism. Then, read the biography on Vladimir Mayakovsky, one of the distinctive poets of Russian Futurism. It may be useful to review your notes on Italian Futurism.
       
      As you read and review your notes, consider the following study question: What are the most important differences between Russian and Italian Futurism?

      Reading these texts, reviewing your notes, and answering the question above should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.1.3 Futurism and Fascism  
    • Reading: History Today: Richard Jensen’s “Futurism and Fascism”

      Link: History Today: Richard Jensen’s “Futurism and Fascism” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read “Futurism and Fascism” to learn about Futurism’s political connection.
       
      As you read, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: What is the author’s main argument about the relationship between Futurism and Fascism? Do you find it convincing? Why, or why not? Using what you know about Italian Futurism from subunit 5.1.1 to support your ideas, write a brief paragraph to analyze this political and literary connection. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reading this article, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.2 What Is Vorticism?  
  • 5.2.1 Introduction to Vorticism  
  • 5.2.2 Pound’s “Vortex”  
    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: Ezra Pound’s “Vortex”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: Ezra Pound’s “Vortex” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the introductory note as well as Pound’s essay, “Vortex,” which first appeared in BLAST. This reading will help you understand the origins of the poetic movement of Vorticism as well as will explain the rhetorical aims of the movement.
       
      As you read, consider the following study question: How does Pound’s explanation of Vorticism relate to other movements like Imagism and Symbolism?
       
      Reading this essay and answering the question above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.2.3 Wyndham Lewis and the Vortex Manifesto  
    • Reading: Vorticism: “Biography of Wyndham Lewis”

      Link: Vorticism: “Biography of Wyndham Lewis” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this biography of Wyndham Lewis to better understand the artistic connection to Vorticism.
       
      As you read, consider the following questions: What inspired Lewis to strike out on his own to form his own movement rather than to simply join one? Note that Vorticism was influenced by Cubism. How might you see this transferred over to poetry?
       
      Reading this biography and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: Wyndham Lewis’ “Long Live the Vortex!” and “Our Vortex”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: Wyndham Lewis’ “Long Live the Vortex!” and “Our Vortex” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the introductory note as well as excerpts from “Long Live the Vortex!” and “Our Vortex,” pieces published in BLAST as part of Lewis’ manifesto on Vorticism. Pay particular attention to the early stages of the evolution of the Vorticist movement and its relationship to World War I. 
       
      Reading these texts should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Brown University and The University of Tulsa’s The Modernist Journals Project: BLAST (No. 1, Ed. Wyndham Lewis)

      Link: Brown University and The University of Tulsa’s The Modernist Journals Project: BLAST (No. 1, Ed. Wyndham Lewis) (HTML)

      Instructions: Using the scrolling tool on the left-hand side of the webpage, go to page 9 (“Long Live the Vortex!”), and read the manifesto in its entirety (pp. 9–45). Once you have read the manifesto, explore the magazine’s other pages, paying attention to both the language of the poems and the visual aesthetic of this publication.
       
      As you read, consider the following study questions: What are the most important claims this manifesto makes about art? How are these different from the creed of the Symbolists and the Imagists? What do you think was so revolutionary about BLAST?
       
      Reading the text, answering the questions above, and exploring poems in BLAST should take approximately 3 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.3 What Is Objectivism?  
  • Unit 5 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 5 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 5 Assessment” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Consider the essay prompts for this assessment, and craft an essay founded on your readings from this unit. After writing your essay, use the “Rubric for Effectively Written College-Level Essays” (PDF) to self-evaluate your writing.
       
      Tips and Suggestions: If you have an ePortfolio account, then it may be beneficial to upload or link to your essay from the Work Samples section of your profile. In combination with the Study Groups function or the ENGL408 Discussion Forum, using your ePortfolio profile may be a good way to receive peer feedback on your written work. If you do not yet have an ePortfolio account, you can create one here, free of charge.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 3 hours.

  • Unit 6: High Modernism  

    The literary aesthetic of High Modernism, which represented the ways modernity was transforming culture by experimenting with, adapting, and altering more traditional literary styles and forms, is best understood as a profound ambivalence about both the present and the past.
     
    Modernist poets tended toward fragmented and disjointed perspectives rather than cohesive or coherent patterns in order to question rather than explain and to reject the illusive order of literary artifice in a world of relative truth rather than objective truth. Their poetic expressions at times appear to be the free associations. A work like Eliot’s Waste Land includes overarching patterns and echoing classical or mythic narratives, but the allusions are foregrounded by very personal and opaque commentary or by snapshots of interruptive images as if a bomb had exploded a church’s stained glass window onto a city’s dump-site.
     
    The high modernist emphasis on individual experience over objective truth ironically also meant incorporating elements of popular culture, which had not been thought literary enough for high art until then, mixing in colloquialisms and dialects without the aid of an interpretive narrator. Pub diction and Dante Italian and Sanskrit swirl in word searches for the holy grail of meaning in desiccated land and cityscapes. The demands of high modernist style tapping into precious and arcane cultural allusion without context or even perceived intention guaranteed a small, very educated elite readership and fed an army of academic explicators. Then again, less obtuse and far more commercially successful poets like Frost and Sandburg were viewed as sell-outs to bourgeois culture.
     
    Probably the greatest irony of the high modernist poets was that the more that they protested how new they were their use of highly traditional, even ancient, poetic forms grew. Ezra Pound’s later work providing the most obvious exemplars. This ambivalence may be best encapsulated by the title of T. S. Eliot’s influential essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent” and such mind-twisting statements as "No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to dead poets and artists.” How that jives with Pound’s modernist mantra, “Make it new,” is the conundrum of these poets and their critics. Hart Crane’s “The Bridge” is probably the best example of this high modernist merging of a deep, almost impenetrable, subjectivity with the traditional epic form.

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 Make It New: The Complicated Relationship between High Modernism and Earlier Texts  
    • Lecture: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 9: Ezra Pound”

      Link: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 9: Ezra Pound” (Adobe Flash, QuickTime, HTML, Mp3)

      Instructions: Watch this lecture on Ezra Pound, focusing on Professor Hammer’s analysis of Pound’s “Canto I.”
       
      Write a paragraph in which you explain how High Modernism was different from earlier forms of literary modernism. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Watching this lecture, pausing to take notes, and completing the writing activity described above should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.2 Pound’s Return of the Epic Form in Modern Poetry  
    • Reading: Poets.org: Ezra Pound’s The Cantos: “Canto XIV”

      Link: Poets.org: Ezra Pound’s The Cantos: “Canto XIV” (HTML)

      Instructions: Before doing the readings for this subunit, please review your notes on Professor Langdon Hammer’s lecture on Ezra Pound, which you listened to in subunit 6.1. Then, read “Canto XIV” in its entirety.
       
      Write a brief analysis of the rhetorical goals of this poem, as well as its imagery, form, and tone. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reviewing your notes, reading the text, and completing the writing activity should take 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.3 Eliot’s Tradition and the Individual Talent  
    • Reading: Poetry Foundation: T.S. Eliot’s “Tradition and Individual Talent”

      Link: Poetry Foundation: T.S. Eliot’s “Tradition and Individual Talent” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read “Tradition and Individual Talent.” As you read, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: What concept of individuality emerges from this essay? What does this say and imply about the place of emotions in modern poetry? Write a brief paragraph to summarize your thoughts. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reading this essay, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copy right and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.4 The Artist in Exile: Ezra Pound’s Hugh Selwyn Mauberley  
    • Reading: Modern American Poetry: Excerpts from Pound’s Hugh Selwyn Mauberley

      Link: Modern American Poetry: Excerpts from Pound’s Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (HTML)

      Instructions: Scroll down the webpage to find selections from Pound’s Hugh Selwyn Mauberley.
       
      As you read, compare this poem to other poems by Pound that you read in earlier subunits. Consider the following study questions and writing prompt: What is unique about Pound’s diction? What is the effect of the various phrases borrowed from other languages? Can one say that this poem has formal or thematic unity? Why, or why not? Write a brief paragraph to summarize your thoughts. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.
       
      Reading this text, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.5 The American Expatriates in Europe  
  • 6.6 William Butler Yeats: The Mature Years  
    • Reading: The Literature Network: William Butler Yeats’ “Easter, 1916” and “The Second Coming”

      Link: The Literature Network: William Butler Yeats’ “Easter, 1916” (HTML) and “The Second Coming” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Yeats’ poems: “Easter, 1916” and “The Second Coming.”
       
      As you study these poems, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: How would you relate “The Second Coming” to the events and aftermath of World War I? How does Yeats use biblical imagery in this poem? How does the poem’s form work to support or subvert its message? What characteristics of high modernism do you find in these poems? Write a paragraph or two to summarize your ideas. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Studying these poems, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

    • Lecture: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 5: William Butler Yeats (cont.)”

      Link: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 5: William Butler Yeats (cont.)” (Adobe Flash, QuickTime, HTML, Mp3)

      Instructions: Watch this lecture on William Butler Yeats. Note how Dr. Hammer interprets Yeats’ poetry during World War I and in its aftermath as well as how he relates the poems to their historical context.

      Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.7 A Heap of Broken Images: The Modern World as Waste Land  
  • 6.8 Hart Crane  
  • Unit 6 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Assessment” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Consider the essay prompts for this assessment, and craft an essay founded on your readings from this unit. After writing your essay, use the “Rubric for Effectively Written College-Level Essays” (PDF) to self-evaluate your writing.
       
      Tips and Suggestions: If you have an ePortfolio account, then it may be beneficial to upload or link to your essay from the Work Samples section of your profile. In combination with the Study Groups function or the ENGL408 Discussion Forum, using your ePortfolio profile may be a good way to receive peer feedback on your written work. If you do not yet have an ePortfolio account, you can create one here, free of charge.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 3 hours.

  • Unit 7: Politics and the Harlem Renaissance  

    African American modernism, often referred to as the Harlem Renaissance, is crucial to the history of modernist poetry. Starting in the 1920s and 30s, Harlem Renaissance poets like Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Jessie Redmon Fauset wrote poems that explored the African American experience and the challenges of modernity. Poems from the Harlem Renaissance showed concerns with grief, populist ideas, and pride and celebration of African American heritage and culture. The poems focused on intellectualism, explored free verse, and aimed to strengthen the voice of the speaker. In later years, writers like Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Walker, and Robert Hayden created new poetic forms in dialogue with both the Harlem Renaissance and broader developments in American and African American culture.
     
    In this unit, you will explore African American modernist poetry, and you will analyze its development, its unique features, and how these poems achieved (or attempted to achieve) certain political aims. As you study the poets and poems in this unit, consider how the themes and poetic devices used during the Harlem Renaissance fit into the modernist idea of making something new. Also, consider how culture and politics transformed the movement.

    Unit 7 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 7 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 7.1 The Harlem Renaissance  
  • 7.2 Creating the Canon of Black Poetry and Individual Legacies  
  • 7.2.1 W.E.B. Dubois’ “The Strivings of Negro People”  
    • Reading: The University of Virginia: W.E.B. Du Bois’ “The Strivings of Negro People”

      Link: The University of Virginia: W.E.B. Du Bois’ “The Strivings of Negro People” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Du Bois’ “The Strivings of Negro People.” This is an influential essay published by W.E.B. Du Bois in the Atlantic Monthly in 1897.
       
      As you read, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: Why do you think this essay became so important? How does Du Bois characterize the cultural predicament of African Americans? Write a paragraph to summarize your thoughts. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reading this essay, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.2.2 James Weldon Johnson  
    • Reading: James Weldon Johnson (ed.)’s The Book of American Negro Poetry: “Preface”

      Link: James Weldon Johnson (ed.)’s The Book of American Negro Poetry: “Preface” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read James Weldon Johnson’s “Preface” to The Book of American Negro Poetry. As you read, take notes on the text, focusing on how Johnson’s “Preface” characterizes the achievements and contributions of African Americans.

      Reading this text should take approximately 3 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.2.3 Claude McKay  
  • 7.2.4 Countee Cullen  
    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: “Biography of Countee Cullen”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: “Biography of Countee Cullen” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this biographical essay to learn about the life and works of Countee Cullen.

      Reading this essay should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: Countee Cullen’s “A Brown Girl Dead,” “Heritage,” and “For Amy Lowell”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: Countee Cullen’s “A Brown Girl Dead” (HTML), “Heritage” (HTML), and “For Amy Lowell” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Cullen’s poems: “A Brown Girl Dead,” “Heritage,” and “For Amy Lowell.” Compare the poems’ formal qualities and their message.
       
      As you study these poems, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: What are the universal aspects of these poems? What are their political aspects? How would you characterize the speaker’s attitude toward life? Based on what you learned about Amy Lowell’s poetry, how do you think Lowell might have responded to Cullen’s poem? Write a few paragraphs to summarize your thoughts, using evidence from the course materials to support your ideas. Consider posting your written response to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Studying these poems, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 2 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyrights and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.2.5 Langston Hughes  
    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: “Biography of Langston Hughes”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: “Biography of Langston Hughes” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this biographical essay to learn about Hughes’ life and the role he played in the Harlem Renaissance.

      Reading this essay should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Lecture: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 15: Langston Hughes”

      Link: Yale University: Professor Langdon Hammer’s “Lecture 15: Langston Hughes” (HTML)

      Instructions: Watch this lecture and take notes on Professor Hammer’s analysis of Hughes’ poetry and his historical context.

      Watching this lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: Langston Hughes’ “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: Langston Hughes’ “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read the introductory note as well as Hughes’ essay, “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain.” As you read, consider the following study question: How does Hughes analyze the relationship between race and poetry?

      Reading this essay and answering the question above should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: Elizabeth Alexander’s “The Black Poet as Canon-Maker”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: Elizabeth Alexander’s “The Black Poet as Canon-Maker” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Alexander’s essay, “The Black Poet as Canon-Maker.” As you read, consider the following study question: What does Alexander’s essay add to your understanding of the Harlem Renaissance?
       
      Reading this essay and answering the question above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Web Media: YouTube: Langston Hughes’ “Ku Klux”

      Link: YouTube: Langston Hughes’ “Ku Klux” (YouTube)

      Instructions: Listen to this audio version of Hughes’ “Ku Klux” read aloud. If necessary, listen to the poem read aloud multiple times.
       
      As you listen to this recording, consider the following questions and writing prompt: What is the meaning of this poem? How does this connect to a political, social, and historical context? What is the mood of this poem? How does irony function in this poem? Write a paragraph to summarize your analysis. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Listening to this poem, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Modern American Poetry: Onwucheka Jemie, Bartholomew Brinkman, and John Moore’s “On ‘Ku Klux’”

      Link: Modern American Poetry: Onwucheka Jemie, Bartholomew Brinkman, and John Moore’s “On ‘Ku Klux’” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this collection of analyses on Hughes’ “Ku Klux,” compiled by the Modern American Poetry project.
       
      As you read, consider the following study question: What are the similarities and differences between these analyses and your own interpretation of Hughes’ “Ku Klux”?
       
      Reading this text and answering the question above should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Modern American Poetry: James Smethurst’s “Langston Hughes in the 1930s”

      Link: Modern American Poetry: James Smethurst’s “Langston Hughes in the 1930s” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Smethurst’s essay on Langston Hughes. As you read, consider the following question: What is the rationale for Hughes’ interest in Communism?

      Reading this essay and answering the question above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.3 Cultural Challenges of Three African-American Women Poets  
  • 7.3.1 Jesse Redmon Fauset  
    • Reading: Poets.org: Jesse Redmon Fauset’s “Dead Fires” and “La Vie C'est La Vie”

      Link: Poets.org: Jesse Redmon Fauset’s “Dead Fires” (HTML) and “La Vie C'est La Vie” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Fauset’s poems: “Dead Fires” and “La Vie C’est La Vie.” As you study these poems, consider the following study questions: What are your interpretations of these poems? What cultural challenges are explored in these poems? What is their formal structure? How would you compare these to other Harlem Renaissance poems you have read so far? Studying these poems and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.3.2 Georgia Douglas Johnson  
    • Reading: The Poetry Foundation: Georgia Douglas Johnson’s “Common Dust” and “Smothered Fires”

      Link: The Poetry Foundation: Georgia Douglas Johnson’s “Common Dust” (HTML) and “Smothered Fires” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Johnson’s poems: “Common Dust” and “Smothered Fires.” Identify the formal qualities, tone, and imagery in these poems.
       
      As you read, consider the following study questions: What cultural challenges are expressed in these poems? How would you compare these poems to Jesse Redmon Fauset’s poems?
       
      Studying these poems and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Poet.org: Georgia Douglas Johnson’s “Black Woman” and “The Heart of a Woman”

      Link: Poet.org: Georgia Douglas Johnson’s “Black Woman” (HTML) and “The Heart of a Woman” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Johnson’s poems: “Black Woman” and “The Heart of a Woman.” Identify the formal qualities, dominant tone, and imagery in these poems.
       
      As you read, consider the following study questions: What cultural challenges are expressed in these poems? How would you compare them to Jesse Redmon Fauset’s poems that you studied in the previous subunit?

       
      Studying these poems and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.3.3 Gwendolyn Bennett  
    • Reading: Poets.org: Gwendolyn Bennett’s “Quatrains,” “Fantasy,” “Sonnet 1,” and “Sonnet 2”

      Link: Poets.org: Gwendolyn Bennett’s “Quatrains” (HTML), “Fantasy” (HTML), “Sonnet 1” (HTML), and “Sonnet 2” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Bennett’s poems: “Quatrains,” “Fantasy,” “Sonnet 1,” and “Sonnet 2.” Identify the formal qualities, dominant tone, and imagery in these poems.
       
      As you read these poems, consider the following study questions and writing prompt: How would you compare them with other Harlem Renaissance poems? What cultural challenges are expressed in these poems? Write a paragraph to summarize your analysis of the poems of Gwendolyn Bennet, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and Jesse Redmon Fauset. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Studying these poems, answering the questions above, and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 7 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 7 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 7 Assessment” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Consider the essay prompts for this assessment, and craft an essay founded on your readings from this unit. After writing your essay, use the “Rubric for Effectively Written College-Level Essays” (PDF) to self-evaluate your writing.
       
      Tips and Suggestions: If you have an ePortfolio account, then it may be beneficial to upload or link to your essay from the Work Samples section of your profile. In combination with the Study Groups function or the ENGL408 Discussion Forum, using your ePortfolio profile may be a good way to receive peer feedback on your written work. If you do not yet have an ePortfolio account, you can create one here, free of charge.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 3 hours.

  • Unit 8: Poetic Responses to World War II, the Holocaust, and the Global Nuclear Threat  

    In this unit, you will take a look at World War II poetry, keeping in mind the representation of war and violence we encountered in the World War I poems so as to compare and contrast these eras of poetry and the approach to the war poem. Consider whether the WWII poems more accurately address the realities of war. The question to consider in this unit and one that modernist poets toward the end of the movement sought to address is: “Are the horrors of the World Wars, multiple genocides, and threat of nuclear incineration of cities and potentially the entire planet so monumental that they can only become trivialized by being spoken about as expository narrative or re-interpreted as art?”
     
    In this unit, you will study poetry that responded to World War II, the Holocaust, Japanese-American internment, and the Atomic Age. This unit will introduce you to World War II poets like Randall Jarrell, Keith Douglas, and Karl Shapiro as well as Japanese internment poets like Violet Kazue de Cristoforo.

    Unit 8 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 8 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 8.1 The Holocaust: Representing the Unrepresentable  
  • 8.2 Japanese-American Internment Camp Poetry  
  • 8.2.1 Overview of the Japanese-American Internment Camps  
  • 8.2.2 Wartime Kaikos (Free-Style Haikus)  
  • 8.3 WWII Soldier Poets  
  • 8.3.1 Randall Jarrell  
    • Reading: Western Michigan University: Randall Jarrell’s “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”

      Link: Western Michigan University: Randall Jarrell’s “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Jarrell’s poem, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner.” As you read, consider the following study questions: What is the meaning of this poem? What does it say about the value of human life during war? What is Jarrell’s intention with the use of metaphor?

      Reading this poem and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Modern American Poetry: Randall Jarrell’s “The Refugees”

      Link: Modern American Poetry: Randall Jarrell’s “The Refugees” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Jarrell’s poem, “The Refugees.” As you read, consider the following study questions: What are the poem’s key themes and ideas? How does this poem compare and contrast to the World War I poems you read in Unit 4?
       
      Reading this poem and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 8.3.2 Keith Douglas  
    • Reading: Voices [Education Project]: The Poets of World War II: “Keith Douglas”

      Link: Voices [Education Project]: The Poets of World War II: “Keith Douglas” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read the brief biographical introduction. Then, study all of the poems reproduced on this page by first reading them and then listening to the recordings: “Vergissmeinnich,” “How to Kill,” “Cairo Jag,” and “Simplify Me When I’m Dead.” To access the recordings, follow the YouTube links. Examine the rhyme scheme of each poem, and note the tone of these poems.
       
      As you study these poems, consider the following study questions: How do these poems represent the war experience? What are the effects of their forms? How are they different from early modernist and high modernist poems you studied in previous units?
       
      Studying these poems, listening to the recordings, and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 8.3.3 Karl Shapiro  
    • Reading: Voices [Education Project]: The Poets of World War II: “Karl Shapiro”

      Link: Voices [Education Project]: The Poets of World War II: “Karl Shapiro” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the brief biographical note as well as Shapiro’s poems: “Elegy for a Dead Soldier” and “Epitaph.” Recall that an elegy is a poetic form that is a serious reflection and lament for the deceased.
       
      Note both the differences and the similarities between Shapiro’s poems and the poems of both Randall Jarrell and Keith Douglas. Write a paragraph or two that analyzes the different approaches these poets take to address a similar subject. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.
       
      Reading these texts and comparing and contrasting Shapiro’s poems to Jarrell and Douglas should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 8.4 The Atom Bomb and Its Impact on Culture  
    • Reading: The Christian Science Monitor: Jim Regan’s “The Atomic Bomb in American Culture”

      Link: The Christian Science Monitor: Jim Regan’s “The Atomic Bomb in American Culture” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Jim Regan’s article on the atom bomb and its impact on culture.
       
      As you read, consider the following study question: How would you describe the impact that the atomic bomb had on American culture?
       
      Reading this article and answering the question above should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: University of Pennsylvania: Professor Al Filreis’ “Cultural Aspects of Atomic Anxiety”

      Link: University of Pennsylvania: Professor Al Filreis’ “Cultural Aspects of Atomic Anxiety” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Professor Filreis’ “Cultural Aspects of Atomic Anxiety.” Write a paragraph to summarize the most important ways in which the invention and use of the atomic bomb influenced European and American culture in a fatalistic manner. Consider posting your paragraph to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.

      Reading this article and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Peace Pledge Project: Alison Fell’s “August 6, 1945”

      Link: The Peace Pledge Project: Alison Fell’s “August 6, 1945” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Alison Fell’s poem, “August 6, 1945.” Make sure to also read the information, history, and ideas on this poem.

      Reading this poem should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: The Peace Pledge Project: Denise Levertov’s “Talk in the Dark”

      Link: The Peace Pledge Project: Denise Levertov’s “Talk in the Dark” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read Denise Levertov’s poem, “Talk in the Dark.”
       
      Consider the role of the poet in alerting fellow citizens about the end of the world as we know it. As you read the poems in this unit, consider the following study questions: How is artistic innovation influenced by political commitments? Should it be? Does literature have ethical responsibilities? Write a few paragraphs that responds to these questions and the poet’s role, using examples from Fell’s poem, Levertov’s poem, and other poems from this unit to support your ideas. Consider posting your written response to the ENGL408 Course Discussion Board, and respond to other students’ posts.
       
      Studying this poem and completing the writing activity should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 8 Assessment  
    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 8 Assessment”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 8 Assessment” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Consider the essay prompts for this assessment, and craft an essay founded on your readings from this unit. After writing your essay, use the “Rubric for Effectively Written College-Level Essays” (PDF) to self-evaluate your writing.
       
      Tips and Suggestions: If you have an ePortfolio account, then it may be beneficial to upload or link to your essay from the Work Samples section of your profile. In combination with the Study Groups function or the ENGL408 Discussion Forum, using your ePortfolio profile may be a good way to receive peer feedback on your written work. If you do not yet have an ePortfolio account, you can create one here, free of charge.
       
      Completing this assessment should take approximately 3 hours.

  • Final Exam  

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