What makes a poem “modern?” Aside from considering their historical context, we’ll read and discuss six major works, tackling these questions: how does the poem invigorate old forms – or discard them altogether for new ones? Does the poem discover new and more relevant meanings, or assail the failed comforts of a disappearing age? How does the poem break through formal poetic traditions and find new ground to explore? How does the very imagery feel fresh, alarming, entangling, beautiful, original – and “modern?” Roughly 100 years from their creation, what do these masterpieces tell us about alienation, the lessons of the past, and a future that depends on human connection?
Read: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Eliot; Sailing to Byzantium, Yeats; Fern Hill, Thomas; Dulce et Decorum, Owen; The Incarnate, Gore-Booth; Musee des Beaux Arts, Auden
This course is offered with the generous support of the Association for Continuing Education