Overview: Wallace Stevens is considered as an unapologetically Romantic poet of imagination. His search for meaning in a universe without religion in "Sunday Morning" is likened to Crane's energetic quest for meaning and symbol. In "The Poems of Our Climate," Stevens's desire to reduce poetry to essential terms, and then his countering resistance to this impulse, are explored. Finally, "The Man on the Dump" is considered as a typically Stevensian search for truth in specifically linguistic terms.
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.