Overview: A representative sample of English poetry of World War One is surveyed. War rhetoric and propaganda are examined and challenged in Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est" and "Strange Meeting." The relationship between home front and battle front is explored in Thomas Hardy's "Channel Firing," "In the Time of 'the Breaking of Nations,'" and "I Looked up From My Writing"; Edward Thomas's "Adlestrop"; and Siegfried Sassoon's "'Blighters.'" Isaac Rosenberg's "Louse Hunting" is discussed as a poem of ordinary experience in the trenches.
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.