To look at the full rich vista of poetry in the last 100 years, we need a wide lens. We’d need to account not only for the accomplishments and influences of canonical Anglo-American Modernism, but also to look at what happened to the Modern/lyrical impulse in other places, other languages, other traditions. Some promising beginnings were cut short [Oscar Wilde and Wilfred Owen in England, Georg Trakl in Austria]. Some movements developed and thrived, though they might have been underappreciated by contemporaries [Gertrude Stein in Paris, Langston Hughes in Mexico City and New York, Aime Cesaire in Martinique]. Some met absolutist obstacles with bravery and joy [Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova in Russia, Nazim Hikmet in Turkey]. Some took the question itself as their theme and their formal determinant (Constantine Cavafy in Greece and north Africa, Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaw Milosz in Poland).
Readings in English / translation. Class format: seminar, conversations, short papers, and presentations.
Enrollment limited to 12 students.