Charles Bernstein
Undergraduate course FALL 1989
The Modernist Experiment in Context: 1910-1940
Wednesday 2-5pm

This course is an introduction to the unprecedented range of different types of poetry that emerged in the early decades of this century in the U.S. and England. I will cover the best known "canonical" poets of the period, such as Yeats, Eliot, Frost, Pound, Williams, and Stevens; the more formally radical and experimental poets, such as Stein, H.D, the Dadaists, and the Objectivists; Afro-American poetry (Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Sterling Brown, Bessie Smith); the more conventional or popular poets (Sandburg, Amy Lowell, Robert Service, Ogden Nash); as well as the political poetry of the 30s, "high" academic poetry, and other, harder to classify, directions. Sound recordings of many of the poets will be played and there will be presentations about related visual and other arts of the period. Several visiting poets and writers will speak to the class. You will be asked to keep a notebook detailing your responses to the readings, lectures, and class discussions. A midterm and final writing project, which can be based on your notebook or be a separate paper on an assigned or approved topic, will be required.


The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, ed. R. Ellman; Second Edition. isbn 0 393 95636 9