Overview: The poetry of William Carlos Williams is presented and analyzed. His use of enjambment to surprise and transform is examined in order to highlight Williams's interest in depicting creative and cognitive processes. The Imagist qualities of much of Williams's poetry is considered alongside his engagement with modernist art--particularly the preoccupation of Duchamps and Cubist painters with the process of representing sensual perception. His free verse, which includes the innovative use of white space and carefully, visually balanced lines, establishes his position as one of the most visually-oriented poets in all of modernism.
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.