Modernist poetry has a reputation for difficulty as well as brilliance, obscurity as well as innovations central to modern culture. Modernist poets have experimented with form, subject matter, visual appearance, oral performance, publication, and every aspect of the material and intellectual culture of the poem. Helping students to recognise and understand the energies and interventions at work in this poetry makes great demands on the teacher of literature. In this timely book, leading poets and scholars discuss the pleasures and challenges of teaching the exciting, diverse field of modernist poetry from the beginning of the last century to the present. You will find here many practical classroom ideas, along with plenty of useful information about poets, poems, critics and histories of poetry.
'This valuable collection touches on a wide range of concerns: how might individual poems be discussed productively in seminars; how can questions of form be related to historical issues; should allusions be tracked down and explicated or should they be left to resonate in readers' minds, opening interpretation up rather than closing it down; to what extent is it reasonable to speak of two "modernisms", the "break" between them being roughly marked by the Second World War; how can teachers address modernism's often reactionary politics and how might pedagogy be radicalised... All the essays published here have valuable contributions to make to these questions, but those by Peter Nicholls, Drew Milne, Harriet Tarlo and Peter Middleton are especially rewarding. This volume will not be of interest to just teachers of modernist history but also to researchers; the emphasis it places on pedagogy is especially useful, but most essays have equally valuable things to say about the history, intellectual range, linguistic complexity and political implications of modernist poetry and its continuing legacies.' - Routledge ABES June 2011