21L.487 | Spring 2002 | Undergraduate

Modern Poetry


Work Expectations

Written Work

  1. Memorize a short poem (at least 14 lines long) by Lecture 9. Prove somehow that you know it; you choose the poem and the mode of proof.

  2. In two short essays (ca 4 pages each) parse/explicate 2 poems (one each) in a “close reading.” (In class we’ll discuss and practice techniques of “close reading.”) You choose the poems. Do at least one explication by midterm, another before Lecture 24. You should probably choose a poem that we haven’t discussed broodingly and thoroughly in our class discussions.

  3. Attend two poetry readings in the Boston area and write a one-page review of each. (I’ll pass along information about readings when I get information; you should too, please.) Often it helps to follow a reading or performance if you’ve read some of the writer’s work before the reading.

  4. Do a project that socializes knowledge and teaches us something. Yes, I realize this description is not very proscriptive; I’m hoping you surprise me/us. You may write a paper or a sheaf of poems, memorize and theorize some performance poetry, do some translations, teach me how to use the internet as a resource for poetry, generate a “traditional” critical paper that explicates individual poems or inflects insights about poems we’ve read (in terms of vision/insight/images, in terms of gender, in terms of the utopianism or longing for perfection of many of the Modernist writers…. etc., etc.).

    Present your project during one of the final three class meetings (10-15 minutes each), and by noon two days after the last students presentation, give me whatever text or object or transcript or videotape or evidence that represents an “accomplished” or finished version.

Other Work

  1. Attentive reading.

  2. Regular and responsible attendance.

  3. Contribution as a helpful participant in our conversations.

    (The category of “helpfulness” is broad. It may entail useful listening as well as talking, synthesizing as well as generating ideas.)

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2002
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments
Activity Assignments
Presentation Assignments