(1878-1967) American poet, historian, novelist, balladeer and folklorist. Much of his poetry focused on Chicago, where he spent time as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News. Plain-speaking free verse style, strongly reminiscent of Whitman. 'The Fog.'
Poem by Carl Sandburg. "Hog Butcher for the World/ Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat/ Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler/ Stormy, husky, brawling/ City of the Big Shoulders..." "Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people, Laughing!"
Poem by Carl Sandburg. The fog comes/ on little cat feet/ It sits looking/ over harbor and city/ on silent haunches/ and then moves on."
(1894-1962) American poet, painter, essayist, playwright. Unorthodox usage of both capitalization and punctuation. Love and nature, satire and the relationship of the individual to the masses and to the world. Many of his poems make little sense until read aloud. He invented odd compound words such as "mud-lucious" and "puddle-wonderful".
A salesman is an it that stinks Excuse
Edward Estlin Cummings. "...but whether to please itself or someone else/ makes no more difference than if it sells/ hate condoms education snakeoil vac/ uumcleaners terror strawberries democ/ ra(caveat emptor)cy superfluous hair/.../or Think We've Met subhuman rights Before"
Santa Claus, A Morality
e.e. Cummings' most successful play. An allegorical Christmas fantasy presented in 1 act of 5 scenes. Death, Mob. Santa Claus' family has disintegrated due to their lust for knowledge, but his faith in love and his rejection of the materialism and disappointment he associates with Science are reaffirmed, and he is reunited with Woman and Child.
Ezra Pound. An incomplete poem with 120 cantos. Economics, governance, culture, Chinese characters, quotations in European languages other than English. Broad range of allusion to historical events, wide geographical spread, abrupt changes occur with the minimum of stage directions. References left without explanation abound.
Hugh Selwyn Mauberley
Ezra Pound's 1920 poem. 2 alter egos discuss the 1st 12 years of his career, focusing on aesthetic and literary concerns. Literary London of the Edwardian period, World War I. "E.P. Ode Pour L'election de son sepulchre/ For three years, out of key with his time/ He strove to resuscitate the dead art/ Of poetry; to maintain "the sublime"/ In the old sense..."
The Lake Isle
Ezra Pound. A mile parody of W.B. Yeats' "The lake Isle of Innisfree.' "...O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves/ Give me in due time, I beseech you, a little tobbaco-shop/ With the little bright boxes/ piled up neatly upon the shelves.../...or install me in any profession/ Save this *** profession of writing/ where one needs one's brains all the time."
The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter
Poem by Ezra Pound. "While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead...At fourteen I married My Lord you./ I never laughed, being bashful...At fifteen I stopped scowling/I desired my dust to be mingled with yours/ Forever and forever and forever....And you have been gone five months./ The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead."
In a Station of the Metro
Poem by Ezra Pound, modeled on the haiku structure, having to do with the Orient. The title is part of the poem. "The apparition of these faces in the crowd/ Petals on a wet, black bough."
Her reputation comes from her social role amongst the American modernist milieu living abroad. Her book of poetry 'Tender Buttons' is often held up as an example of modernist experimentation and opacity. 'Stanzas in Meditation.' "A rose is a rose is a rose..." "Out of kindness comes redness and out of rudeness comes rapid same question, out of an eye comes research, out of selection comes painful cattle." "Sugar is not a vegetable."
Gertrude Stein's 1st published book about 3 working-class women. Includes "The Good Anna," "Melanchtha," and "The Gentle Lena."
From Gertrude Stein's 'Stanzas in Meditation.' "She may count three little saisies very well/ By multiplying to either six nine or fourteen/ Or she can be well mentioned as twelve/ Which they may like which they can like soon/ Or more than ever which they wish as a button/ Just as much as they arrange which they wish..."
From Gertrude Stein's 'Stanzas in Meditations.' "Which I wish to say is this/ There is no beginning to an end/ But there is a beginning and an end/ To beginning./ Why yes of course."
20th century American poet and New Historicist critic. 'The Waste Land' (top poem of the modernist canon!).
The Waste Land
T.S. Eliot. Ties together his near-sociopathic message with quotations from everything from Webster to Dante and a plethora of sound wordds and Sanskrit. Pound trimmed the poem to the form are now used to. Theme is the decay of Western civilization, his subjects are the passive people of London ("Unreal city"). 5 sections: The Burial of the Dead, A Game of Chess, The Fire Sermon, Death by Water, What the Thunder Said.
The Waste Land
"April is the cruellest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/ Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain./ Winter kept us warm, covering/ Earth in forgetful snow, feeding/ A little life with dried tubers."
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
T.S. Eliot. "Let us go then, you and I/ When the evening is spread out against the sky/ Like a patient etherised upon a table/.../ In the room the women come and go/ Talking of Michelangelo."
A term introduced by T.S. Eliot in in his essay "Hamlet and His Problems." Defined as the set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which will set off a specific emotion in the reader.
T. S. Eliot. 4 poems: Burnt Norton, East Coker, the Dry Salvages, Little Gidding. They draw upon his study of mysticism and philosophy. Christian imagery and symbolism is abundant, though there are also numerous references to Hindu symbols and traditions.
T.S. Eliot. "Time present and time past/ Are both perhaps present in time future/ And time future contained in time past./ If all time is eternally present/ All time is unredeemable."
Journey of the Maji
Dramatic monologue by T.S. Eliot. Picks up Eliot's consistent theme of alienation and a feeling of powerlessness in a world that has changed. It is largely a complaint about a journey that was painful, tedious, and seemingly pointless. The speaker says that a voice was always whispering in their ears as they went that "this was all folly."
Journey of the Maji
Dramatic monologue by T.S. Eliot. "Three trees against a low sky..." "A cold coming we had of it/ Just the worst time of the year..." "...this Birth was/ Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death. We had returned to our places, these Kingdoms/ But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensations/ With an alien people clutching their gods./ I should be glad of another death."
(Hilda Doolittle, 1886-1961) Best known for her association with the key early 20th-century avant-garde Imagist group of poets, although her later writing moves towards a distinctly feminine version of modernist poetry and prose. A leading figure in the bohemian culture of London. Her work is noted for its use of classical models and its exploration of homosexual conflict. Her later poetry also explores violence and war from a feminist perspective.
Poem by H.D. "Whirl up, sea-/Whirl up your pointed pines./Splash your great pines/ On our rocks./ Hurl your green over us-/ Cover us with your pools of fir."
Never more will the wind
H.D. "The snow is melted/ The snow is gone/ And you are flown/ Like a bird out of our hand/ Like a light out of our heart/ you are gone."
H.D. "All Greece hates/ the still eyes in the white face/ the luster as of olives/ where she stands/ and the white hands."
Stars wheel in purple
H.D. "yet disenchanted, cold, imperious face/ when all the other blighted, reel and fall/ your star, steel-set, keeps lone and frigid tryst/ to freighted ships, baffled in wind and blast."
American Modernist poet. (1879-1955) Poems: Anecdote of the Jar, Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock, The Emperor of Ice Cream, The Idea of Order at Key West, Sunday Morning, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, Tattoo.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
Wallace Stevens. "1. Among twenty snowy mountains/ The only moving thing/ Was the eye of the blackbird."
Anecdote of the Jar
Wallace Stevens. "I placed a jar in Tennessee/ And round it was, upon a hill./ It made the slovenly wilderness/ Surround that hill."
The Emperor of Ice-Cream
Wallace Stevens. "Call the roller of big cigars/ The muscular one, and bid him whip/ In kitchen cups concupiscent curds."