Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Modern Poetry

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit seeks to survey Modern poetry and introduce students to the major poems of T. S. Eliot and W. B. Yeats.

This study-unit will focus on Modernism in British Poetry (1914 to 1938) and its preoccupation with the after-effects of World War I. In particular the study-unit will concentrate on the notion of form in Modern Poetry, highlighting the ‘fragmentariness’ of poems like The Waste Land and its juxtaposition of the sublime and the seemingly trivial. The concerns with myth, ritual and symbolic resonances will be dealt with in the selected poetry of T.S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats.

The following is the content covered:

T. S. Eliot: ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’; The Waste Land; ‘Journey of the Magi’; ‘Ash Wednesday’; The Hollow Men.

W.B. Yeats: ‘The Man who dreamed of Fairy Land’; ‘To Ireland in the Coming Times’; ‘To a Wealthy Man’; ‘September 1913’; ‘A Coat’; ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’; ‘In Memory of Major Robert Gregory’; ‘An Irish Airman Foresees his Death’; ‘Ego Dominus’; ‘Tuus’; ‘Easter 1916’; ‘On a Political Prisoner’; ‘The Second Coming’, ‘A Prayer for my Daughter’; ‘Sailing to Byzantium’; ‘Leda and the Swan’, ‘Coole Park (1929)’; ‘Byzantium’; ‘The Circus Animals’ Desertion’.

Reading List:

Ellmann, Richard, The Identity of Yeats (London: Macmillan, 1954)
Henn, T. R., The Lonely Tower: Studies in the Poetry of W.B. Yeats (London: Methuen, 1950)
Jeffares, A. N., A New Commentary on the Poems of W.B. Yeats (London: Macmillan, 1954)
Martin, Graham, Eliot in Perspective (London: Macmillan, 1970)
Menand, Louis, Discovering Modernism: T.S. Eliot in Context, new edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
Moody, David, The Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1997)
Raine, Craig, T. S. Eliot (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)
Sidnell, Michael, Yeats’s Poetry and Poetics (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1996)


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Peter Vassallo

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.