Overview: Professor Hammer's discussion of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" continues with particular attention paid to the poem's psychological, social, and generic elements. Eliot's place in literary criticism and his modernist poetics are considered in the essay "The Metaphysical Poets." The essay's critique of Romanticism serves as a bridge to Eliot's masterwork, The Waste Land, the first lines of which are presented and analyzed.
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.