ENG 3323.251      Spring 2017
Professor Paul Cohen
Flowers Hall 358             Phone: 245-7685
Office Hours: M 1:00-2:00, TTh 3:30-4:45, and by appointment
Web site:
Turnitin: Class ID: 14396227      Enrollment password: poetry

TEXTBOOKS: The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, 3rd ed., 2 vols.

You will also use the MLA Handbook, 8th Edition. Using an earlier edition, or any other source for MLA style, will hurt your grade very badly. I did not have the bookstores order this as a textbook for the course, since many of you should already have it from ENG 3301 or another course, but it’s indispensable.

DESCRIPTION: This course is intended for English majors or minors. We will cover the range of types of 20th- and 21st-century English-language poetry, including the relationships between modern poetry and such topics as music, art, and parody.

OBJECTIVES: Familiarizing you with the poetry of our era, from Gerard Manley Hopkins to Bob Dylan.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Please download the file located at

REQUIREMENTS: You will write one paper of at least 800 words, due on February 18, worth 20% of your course grade; and one research paper of at least 1,200 words, due on April 17, worth 40% of your course grade. The papers will be submitted electronically through Turnitin. You will also take two examinations, on March 7 and May 4; each will consist of both short-answer objective questions and an essay, with each part counting as half of the exam. Each exam will be worth 20% of your course grade.

Paper 1

Paper 2

ATTENDANCE: You are expected to attend all classes and to arrive no later than the appointed time. I will treat you as adults and, after the 12th-class-day roster, I will not keep attendance records, assuming that you wouldn’t miss a class unless you had a good reason. The other side of that coin is that you will bear responsibility for anything you miss. If you miss a class, it will be your responsibility to find out, before the next meeting, what you missed. If you miss an examination, you will not be allowed to make it up.

GRADING POLICY: I use the grading system specified in the University's Undergraduate Catalog: A-excellent; B-good; C-average; D-passing; F-failing or withdrawn failing. Please note that this system does not begin with "A," then lowering the grade to indicate problems. Rather, it assumes that C is the norm: the average level of work for students taking 3000-level English courses at Texas State University today. Work significantly stronger or weaker than that will earn B or D, while work much stronger or weaker will earn A or F.

Grades on the objective parts of the exams will reflect knowledge of the course material. Grades on the at-home papers and the essay parts of the exams will reflect that knowledge to a limited degree, but they will primarily reflect your ability to think for yourselves (as opposed to repeating course material) and to express your ideas effectively in writing.

The novelist David Foster Wallace sensibly wrote on some of his syllabi:

If you are used to . . . handing [papers] in full of high-school errors and sentences that make no sense and having the professor accept them ‘because the ideas are good’ or something, please be informed that I draw no distinction between the quality of one’s ideas and the quality of those ideas’ verbal expression, and I will not accept sloppy, rough-draftish, or semiliterate college writing,

and that was for a Freshman course. In this upper-division English course, papers and essays with multiple writing errors will not pass regardless of their content. If you can't write without errors, do not take this course.

ACADEMIC HONESTY AND PLAGIARISM: You are expected to follow the University Honor Code, and failure to do so will typically result in failing the course. One type of academic dishonesty is plagiarism: the use of another person's intellectual work—words, images, ideas—without full and proper acknowledgement of the source. This misuse may be either deliberate or negligent, and it is an extremely serious problem in either case. Plagiarism will result in a grade of 0 (not F) for the assignment, which will almost certainly mean a failing grade for this entire course. For further information about plagiarism, see a good writing handbook. University policies on plagiarism and other types of academic dishonesty are described in the University's official student handbook. All students should be familiar with these policies. Copies of the handbook are available from the Office of the Dean of Students, LBJSC 5-9.1, and at

STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: Students who need special accommodations to succeed in this course must inform the instructor and the Office of Disability Services in the first two weeks of the semester. The Department of English is dedicated to providing these students with necessary academic adjustments and auxiliary aids to facilitate their participation and performance in the classroom.

Terms and names

Modernism and Postmodernism

SCHEDULE (subject to change): The works without page numbers are links in the online syllabus. When works have both page numbers and links, the links provide pictures or other material associated with the poems.


January 17 - Marianne Moore: Poetry (M438)
                    Archibald MacLeish: Ars Poetica (M515)
                    Joy Harjo: Mourning Song (C950)
January 19 - W.H. Auden: The Composer
                    Frank O’Hara: Why I Am Not a Painter (C369)

January 24 - No class


January 26- Meter
January 31 - Rhyme
Sonnets: Edna St. Vincent Millay: Sonnet
              William Shakespeare: Sonnet 56
              W.B. Yeats: Leda and the Swan (M118)
               Gerard Manley Hopkins: Pied Beauty (M78)                
               Tony Harrison: Marked with D. (C674)
February 2- Terza rima
                    Villanelles: William Empson: Missing Dates (M783)
                                       Paul Hoover: Sonnet 56
February 7- Sestinas: John Ashbery: Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape (C393)
                                  Harry Mathews: Histoire and The Broadcast
                    Cento: John Ashbery: The Dong with the Luminous Nose


February 9 - Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Wreck of the Deutschland (M67)
                                                                   God’s Grandeur (M76)

February 14 - Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Windhover (M77)
                                                                   Letters (M874)
Anthony Brode: Breakfast with Gerard Manley Hopkins

February 16 - Thomas Hardy: The Darkling Thrush (M48)
                      A.E. Housman: Terence, This is Stupid Stuff (M88)

February 21 - W.B. Yeats: Who Goes with Fergus (M96)
                                                         Adam’s Curse (M100)
                                                         No Second Troy (M101)
                                                         Easter, 1916 (M105)

February 23 - W.B. Yeats: The Second Coming (M111)
A Prayer for My Daughter (M112)
The Tower (M118)

February 28 - W.B. Yeats: Sailing to Byzantium (M123)
 A Dialogue of Self and Soul (M127)                                                   


March 3 - Gertrude Stein:
Four Saints in Three Acts
If I Told Him
                                         Guillaume Apollinaire (M186)
                                          From A Transatlantic Interview (M986)

March 7: Mid-term Examination

March 9 - Wallace Stevens:      Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (M244)
                                                   Anecdote of the Jar (M246)
                                                   The Emperor of Ice-Cream (M248)
                                                   The Man with the Blue Guitar (excerpts) (M251)

March 21 - Ezra Pound: In a Station of the Metro (M351)
                                      Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (M354)
                                      The Cantos: I (M368)
                                      A Retrospect (M929)
                  Paul Hoover: Sonnet 56

March 23 - T.S. Eliot: The Waste Land (M472)
                 Louis Zukofsky: Poem Beginning “The” (Dedication and First Movement) (M733)

March 28 - Dylan Thomas: The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower (C102)
                                           Poetic Manifesto (C1061)

March 30 - Allen Ginsberg: Howl (C337)
                                        From Kaddish (C349)
                                        Notes Written on Finally Recording Howl (C1074)

April 4 - John Ashbery: Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (C395)

April 6 - Adrienne Rich: Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers (C459)
                                         Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (C459)
                                         Diving Into the Wreck (C467)
                                         When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision (C1086)

April 11 - Raymond Queneau: Ten Thousand Billion Poems
                Harry Mathews: The Imbeciles
                Paul Hoover: Sonnet 56
                Christian Bök: Eunoia

April 13 - Lyn Hejinian: My Life (excerpts) (C789)
                                Complete book
                Charles Bernstein
: The Kiwi Bird in the Kiwi Tree (C910)
                                                 Semblance (C1111)
                Susan Howe
: from Thorow (C689)
                Kenneth Goldsmith: No. 111 2.7.93-10.20.96

April 18 - Bob Dylan: A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
                                               The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

April 20 - Bob Dylan:  Subterranean Homesick Blues                                              

April 25 - Bob Dylan: Visions of Johanna
Lay Down Your Weary Tune

April 27 - Bob Dylan: Jokerman
Blind Willie McTell

May 4 - Final Examination: 11:00-1:30