Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG454H1S L0301

ENG454H1S   L0301    T1-3 
Advanced Seminar Group 5: Studies in the Long Poem
Professor George Clarke
Office Phone:
416-946-3143
Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, Room 804


Brief Description of Course: Although the Modernists supported Poe’s notion that long poems—epics—were passé, they continued to be written and published throughout the twentieth-century, with Pound’s own Cantos appearing as an illustrative example. Moreover, by the end of the last century, Walcott’s Omeros registered as an epic redux, even with its nods to Modernism in its blues-tinted terza rima. In this course, we will read a range of long poems—epics, epyllia, and narrative lyric suites—to scrutinize the subtle continuation of epic ambition—if attenuated into somewhat shorter works—throughout the contemporary, Anglophone world.

Required Reading: E. Pound, Pisan Cantos; E.J. Pratt, Selected Poems; M. Ondaatje, Collected Works of Billy the Kid; D. Walcott, Omeros; Bernardine Evaristo, Lara; M.N. Philip, Zong!; Pain Not Bread, Introduction to the Introduction to Wang Wei; L.B. Halfe, Burning in This Midnight Dream.  

First Three Authors/Texts: Pound, Pratt, Ondaatje.

Method of Instruction: Lecture, class discussion. 

Method of Evaluation: One short essay, one research essay.

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