Overview: In the final lecture of the course, Elizabeth Bishop's "Over 2,000 Illustrations and a Complete Concordance" is considered with an emphasis on Bishop's ambivalence towards the notion of home. The idea that modernists use poetry to do the work that religion no longer does is reflected upon, and connections are drawn between Bishop, Frost, Eliot, Stevens, and Crane. Bishop's "Visits to St. Elizabeth's" is considered as a formal rebuke to the ambitions of modernism alongside Auden's statement that "poetry makes nothing happen" but ultimately the two poets are shown to offer poetry as a solution to modern alienation in its capacity to renew human community through communication.
This course covers the body of modern poetry, its characteristic techniques, concerns, and major practitioners. The authors discussed range from Yeats, Eliot, and Pound, to Stevens, Moore, Bishop, and Frost with additional lectures on the poetry of World War One, Imagism, and the Harlem Renaissance. Diverse methods of literary criticism are employed, such as historical, biographical, and gender criticism.