LITS3001 MODERN POETRY
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SEMESTER II, 2004-2005
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Two compulsory 1.5-hour seminars per week:
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This semester, the course is divided into two modules. In the first module, entitled "From Romanticism to Modernism," we begin by surveying selected examples of Romantic poetry. We then turn our attention to several late nineteenth century schools of art (fin de siecle symbolism, decadence, aestheticism, and impressionism) and their influence on the work (in translation) of several French poets such as Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Rimbaud who had a huge influence in turn on the Modernists. We then devote the following three weeks to a consideration of Yeats' theory of poetry as expressed in "The Symbolism of Poetry," and his major poems. The term paper is based on this module.
In the second module, entitled "High Modernism," we begin by examining the World War I poets, contrasting the simple patriotism of Rupert Brooke with the poetry of Sassoon, Owen and Rosenberg. We then turn our attention to Imagism, focusing particularly on the work of Pound and William Carlos Williams. We devote the next three weeks to Eliot's critical theory and his major poems. We end by examining a selection of African American philosophers (e.g. Du Bois, Locke) and critical theory (e.g. Du Bois' "Negro Art as Propaganda") as well as a consideration of the poetry of Langston Hughes. The final exam is based on the second module only.
You should note that whatever may be the final mark, departmental regulations decree that students must pass at least one question in the final exam in order to pass any course in Literatures in English. Students who fail the course in this way receive a FE ('Failed Exam') on their grade slip.