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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Henry J. Staten
C LIT 571
Seattle Campus

The Lyric: Theory and Practice

Examination of central questions in the study of the lyric genre as approached from an international point of view. Course content varies.

Class description

551A—Studies in Poetry: What is modernism in poetry?

This course will take a broad, exploratory view of modernist poetry and the criticism that evolved along with it, both influenced by it and helping to shape ideas about what it was. We will begin with its earliest stirrings in Baudelaire and Mallarmé, and along the way we will touch on Hopkins, Rilke, Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Crane, Stevens, Loy, Moore, and Williams, as well as Russian Formalism and the New Criticism. I will also introduce some “touchstones? of earlier poetry as a point of comparison (I’m thinking, for example, of Milton’s exquisite “At a Solemn Music,? which shows you how the Christian neo-Platonist could go to town.) The approach will be primarily formalist (appropriately, since modernist criticism is formalist), but we will be constantly brushing up against questions of historical context.

I’m hoping for a very active contribution from the class. This class is an experiment for me, and I’m hoping we can think together about what sense to make of the broad diversity of work that we lump under the heading of “modernism.? I’m also hoping some of you will introduce the rest of us to poems or poets that I haven’t included, but which deserve to be included—or which you try to persuade me deserve to be included.

I will ask you for 3 papers, more or less evenly spread out across the quarter, of about 5 pages each.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Henry J. Staten
Date: 10/18/2013