English 4446/5446 Modern Poetry, Spring 2011

Section 01 (CRN 21149/21150): TR 3:30-4:45PM, Arts & Sciences 243


Professor: Dr. Alex E. Blazer



Office Phone: 478.445.0964


Office: Arts & Sciences 330

Office Hours:

MW 5:00-5:30 A&S 330,

T 12:30-1:45 A&S 330,

R 12:30-1:30 Blackbird, by appt


Course Description


The course catalog describes our course as "A study of selected modern poetry in English."


This course's Academic Assessment page describes our topics:

as well as course outcomes:

Note that this course's prerequisite is English 2110, IDST 2305, or permission of the instructor.


Course Materials


required (GCSU Bookstore or

Ramazani, Ellmann, and O'Clair, eds., The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Volume 1: Modern Poetry, 3rd ed.


Gibaldi, MLA Handbook, 7th ed.

required (online)

supplemental articles


Assignments and Grade Distribution


4446 Undergraduate Students


response, 5%

In the 3-4 page response paper, you will react to a poem, read the poem aloud in class, and broach questions for class discussion.

close reading, 20%

In the 4-6 page close reading paper, you will analyze and interpret a short poem.

exam, 25%

In the in class exam, you will answer two or three essay questions.

wild card, 25%

In the 6-8 page wild card paper, you will have the option to interpret the theme of a book of poetry, analyze how a contemporary poet is influenced by a modernist poet, or examine how two modernist poets respond to one another.

research paper, 25%

In the 8-10 page research paper, you will research a poem, poet, or poetic issue.


5446 Graduate Students


presentation, 10%

In the 30 minute presentation, you will choose a poet and a critical article on that poet; then you teach article and begin the class discussion of the poet.

close reading, 20%

In the 6-8 page close reading paper, you will analyze and interpret a short poem.

exam, 35%

In the 10-12 page take home exam, you answer two or three essay questions.

research paper, 35%

In the 12-15 page research paper, you will research a poem, poet, or poetic issue.


Course Policies


Class Preparation and Participation

I expect you to come to class having read, annotated, and reviewed the assigned reading. Moreover, you should prepare at least two comments and two questions for each reading. We're going to be working with challenging texts; therefore, we'll all benefit from sharing our ideas and questions. If I feel that you're not participating because you're not keeping up with the reading, I will give a pop quiz.

Office Hours and Email

I encourage you to stop by my office hours to discuss any aspect of the course, of literature. I'm happy to answer minor questions such as due dates over email, but I prefer face-to-face conversations for more substantive topics like papers and exams. Please use etiquette in both email and in person.


The syllabus is available at We will be using GeorgiaVIEW and TurnItIn for assignments. It is your responsibility to learn GeorgiaView and TurnItIn. Check your university email for course-related messages. I suggest using a a free cloud computing service such as Dropbox, Live Mesh, or Mozy to save your work-in-progress. Students who text or web surf in class will be marked absent.


There will be a one letter final grade deduction for every absence beyond three days. Therefore, missing four class periods will result in a one letter final grade deduction and missing seven classes will result in automatic failure of the course. I suggest you use your three days both cautiously and wisely; and make sure you sign the attendance sheets. Habitual tardies, consistently leaving class early, texting, and surfing the internet will be treated as absences. Excuses like work, family, and scheduled doctor's appointments will be declined. The only acceptable excuses are death in one's immediate family and one's own medical emergency. If you participate in an extracurricular activity that you anticipate will cause you to miss class, I suggest you switch sections now. You can check your attendance online by looking for your course number and the last four digits of your student identification number.

MLA Style

Formal assignments should adhere to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. Formal papers and take-home exams require MLA style while in-class exams; discussion board responses, informal writing, and peer review may be informally formatted. One-third of a letter grade will be deducted from a formal paper or take-home exam for problems in each of the following three categories, for a possible one letter grade deduction total: 1) header, heading, and title, 2) margins, font, and line-spacing, and 3) quotation and citation format. Before you turn in a formal paper, make sure your work follows MLA style by using the checklist on the MLA style handout. I encourage students to use my MS Word template.

Late Assignments

There will be a one letter assignment grade deduction per day (not class period) for any assignment that is turned in late. I sparingly give short extensions if you request one for a valid need at least one day before the assignment is due. I will inform you via email if I cannot open an electronically submitted assignment; however, your assignment will be considered late until you submit it in a file I can open. Failing to submit an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade within five days (not class periods) of its due date will result in automatic failure of the course. Failing to submit a final exam or final paper within two days of its due date will result in automatic failure of the course.

Length Requirements

A formal paper or take-home exam will be penalized one-third of a letter grade if it does not end at least halfway down on the minimum page length while implementing 12 pt Times New Roman font, double-spacing, and 1" margins. Each additional page short of the minimum requirement will result in an a one-third letter grade penalty.


Do not do it. The Honor Code defines plagiarism as "presenting as one's own work the words or ideas of an author or fellow student. Students should document quotes through quotation marks and footnotes or other accepted citation methods. Ignorance of these rules concerning plagiarism is not an excuse. When in doubt, students should seek clarification from the professor who made the assignment." Section 3.01 of the Academic Affairs Handbook elaborates other examples of academic dishonesty and outlines disciplinary procedures and appeals for academic misconduct. Submitting the same paper in two different courses constitutes academic dishonesty. As plagiarism is not tolerated at GCSU, any student found guilty of willful plagiarism or dishonesty will fail the assignment and the course. Students must submit all formal papers to

Failure of the Course

There are three ways to fail the course: 1) failing to regularly attend class, 2) plagiarizing, 3) failing an assignment that is worth 15% or more of the course grade, be it from poor quality, lateness of submission, or a combination of poor quality and lateness. By contrast, students who regularly attend class, complete their work with academic integrity, and submit assignments on time will pass the course.


The last day to add a course is Friday, January 14. The last day to drop a course without fee penalty is Wednesday, January 19. The last day to withdraw from all courses without academic penalty (unless previously assigned an F by professor for absences) is Monday, March 7.

Assistance for Student Needs Related to Disability

If you have a disability as described by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, you may be eligible to receive accommodations to assist in programmatic and physical accessibility.  Disability Services, a unit of the GCSU Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, can assist you in formulating a reasonable accommodation plan and in providing support in developing appropriate accommodations to ensure equal access to all GCSU programs and facilities. Course requirements will not be waived, but accommodations may assist you in meeting the requirements.  For documentation requirements and for additional information, we recommend that you contact Disability Services located in Maxwell Student Union at 478-445-5931 or 478-445-4233.

The Writing Center

The Writing Center is a free service available to all members of the university community. Consultants assist writers in the writing process, from conception and organization of compositions to revision to documentation of research. Located in Lanier Hall 209, the Center is open Monday through Friday. Call 445-3370 or email for more information.

Fire Drills

Fire drills will be conducted during the semester.  In the event of a fire alarm signal, students will exit the building in a quick and orderly manner through the nearest hallway exit.  Learn the floor plan and exits of the A & S Building.  Do not use elevators.  Crawl on the floor if you encounter heavy smoke.  Assist disabled persons and others if possible without endangering your own life.  Assemble for a head count on front lawn main campus.


Course Schedule


This schedule is subject to change, so check back in class and online for possible revisions.

I recommend that you listen to the poets reading their work: [audio].

On days when two poets are assigned, we may not cover both equally.


Week 1
T, 1-11

No Class: Snow Day

R, 1-13

Modernism Lecture

Hardy, "I looked up from my writing" (Ramazani 60)

Week 2
T, 1-18

Definitions of Modernism (GeorgiaVIEW)

Ramazani, Introduction (Ramazani xxxvii-lxii)

Hardy (Ramazani 41-63)

Poetry Analysis

In Class Activity: Poetry Devices Review

R, 1-20

Nelson, "Modern American Poetry" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Hopkins (Ramazani 63-82, 873-6)

Week 3
T, 1-25

Yeats (Ramazani 90-143, 877-88)

In Class Activity: Yeats

R, 1-27

Yeats, continued ("Sailing to Byzantium" and "Byzantium")

O'Hara, "Modernism's Global Identity (EBSCO)

Week 4
T, 2-1

Sassoon (Ramazani 387-93)

Owen (Ramazani 523-34, 928-9)

R, 2-3

Eliot (Ramazani 460-94, 941-53) [audio]

Week 5
T, 2-8

Eliot, continued

Modern American Poetry, On "The Waste Land"

In Class Activity: Reassembling The Waste Land

R, 2-10

Eliot, continued

Week 6

T, 2-15

Pound (Ramazani 345-87, 928-40) [audio]

Lowell (Ramazani 198-200, 926-7)

Blast (Ramazani 897-20)

Lewis, "Long Live the Vortex!" and "Our Vortex"

R, 2-17

Pound, continued ("The River Merchant's Wife" and "Lament of the Frontier Guard")

Alexander, "Ezra Pound as Translator" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Week 7
T, 2-22

Williams (Ramazani 283-317, 954-9) [audio]

In Class Activity: Williams vs/and High Modernism

R, 2-24

No Class: Professor at Conference

Close Reading Paper Due by 11:59PM

Week 8
T, 3-1

Williams, continued

R, 3-3

H. D. (Ramazani 393-413) [audio]

Moore (Ramazani 430-54, 994-9)

Exam Review

Week 9
T, 3-8

Stein (Ramazani 176-97) [audio]

Cummings (Ramazani 545-56)

R, 3-10

Undergraduate In-Class Exam

Week 10
T, 3-15

Ransom (Ramazani 455-9)

Tate (Ramazani 649-54)

Riding (Ramazani 665-9)

In Class Activity: The Fugitives

Graduate Take-Home Exam Due

R, 3-17

Frost (Ramazani 201-25, 984-5)

In Class Activity: Book of Frost

Week 11
T, 3-22

No Class: Spring Break

R, 3-24

No Class: Spring Break

Week 12
T, 3-29

Crane (Ramazani 604-48, 968-70)

R, 3-31

Crane, continued
Crane, criticism

In Class Activity: Bridging Criticism

Week 13
T, 4-5

Sanders, "The New Negro Renaissance" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Toomer (Ramazani 556-61)

Brown (Ramazani 669-83)

R, 4-7

McKay (Ramazani 498-503)

Keller, "The Politics of Compromise in Claude McKay's Protest Sonnets" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Cullen (Ramazani 726-31)

Wild Card Paper Due

Week 14
T, 4-12

Hughes (Ramazani 684-704, 964-7) [audio]

Davidas, "'I, Too, Sing America': Jazz and Blues Techniques and Effects in Some of Langston Hughes's Selected Poems" (Ebsco)

R, 4-14

Perloff, "'Barbed-Wire Entanglements': The 'New American Poetry,' 1930-1932" (GeorgiaVIEW)

Zukofsky (Ramazani 732-39) [audio]

Zukofsky (Poetry Foundation)

In Class Activity: Applying Criticism

Week 15
T, 4-19

Oppen (Ramazani 833-40) [audio]

Reznikoff (Ramazani 537-44) [audio]

R, 4-21

Niedecker (Ramazani 716-25)

Bunting (Ramazani 655-61) [audio]

Research Paper Topics Due

Week 16
T, 4-26

Stevens (Ramazani 235-67, 971-83) [audio]

In Class Activity: Realing Imagination / Imagining Reality

R, 4-28

Stevens, "The Snow Man," "The Plain Sense of Things," from "Notes toward a Supreme Fiction"

Bevis, "Stevens' Toneless Poetry" (GeorgiaVIEW)

In Class Activity: Concluding Thoughts

R, 5-5

Research Paper Due by 2:00PM