Eliot and Oppen (LIT4123.02)

Phillip B. Williams

This 7-week course will explore two vastly different but strangely similar writers who explore different aspect of Modernist poetry: Eliot as Modernism’s forefather and Oppen as part of the Objectivist group. Where Eliot was stunned into his most well-regarded work “The Waste Land” by the aftermath of the first World War, Oppen abandoned poetry in the 1930s for political activism and later moved to Mexico to avoid condemnation from the House Un-American Activities Committee. He returned to poetry and to the US in 1958 and wrote some of his most daring work, including his book OF BEING NUMEROUS, a Pulitzer prize winner. We will read and analyze the early and late poetry of both Eliot and Oppen, discuss thematic and structural similarities and differences, explore historical contexts that informed their poetry, and discuss what they mean to poetry today through whom they have inspired. This is an advanced level class that requires several papers throughout the term and a final paper at the very end.

Prerequisites: Professor's approval. Please submit a critical paper (3-5 pages) to phillipwilliams@bennington.edu for consideration by November 15. Class lists will be posted on November 27.
Credits: 2
T 6:30pm - 8:20pm; Th 6:30pm - 8:20pm (second seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Literature, Monday and/or Thursday Afternoons, Phillip Williams, Second Seven Week, Tuesday and/or Friday Afternoons, Two Credit, and tagged , , , .