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20100204-1230 Sandburg, Pound, and Frost (Group 1)

Page history last edited by Brian Croxall 10 years, 8 months ago



We began the class discussing the movement from realism into modernism, and Ezra Pound's contribution to modernism with imagism. Reality becomes something very different than what it has always been.  People's understanding of the world became fragmented, and realism was no longer possible because nothing was as it seemed any longer. We defined Modernism and Pound's subset, Imagism (see definitions below), and we spent most of the time picking out examples of modernism within the poetry of Pound and Frost.  We discussed how Pound wanted to "make it new" and used old texts to transform them into something completely different, ie. the retelling of the Odyssey in his Cantos. Robert Forst focused poetry around New England but originally  from California. The Mending Wall in short keeps from having boundries crossed yet when it comes time to "mend" the wall, the neighbors come together. However the speaker does not seem to like the wall, but  Frost manages to keep order in a four line unrhymed iambic pentameter.


Word Count: 166




In a Station of the Metro


The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.


We discussed how this poem is indicative of the imagism movement through the photo-like capturing of the moment.  It is also not wordy, and emphasizes the brief moment - almost an apparitional glimpse.  We discussed the option of the speaker being inside a train passing the station as the smeared faces represents the anonymity of people as well as the speed of an instant of time.  We also thought this poem was like a haiku, but without the form contraints. 


"The Mending  Wall"


"And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each."


Through out the poem it talks about many things being a nuisance. In class we discuessed an unrhymed iambic pentameter; Mr.Croxall pointed out those four particular lines. Everything comes together in those four lines.


Key Terms


Modernism: a new way of encountering the world in literature. It was marked by experimental, new forms including primetivism, ambiguity, stream of consciousness, city/urbanization, and a rejection of tradition. 


Imagism: a movement in literature began by Ezra Pound.  It was characterized by the direct treatment of the topic, whether subjective  or objective, the elimination of unnecessary words, musical phrasing (but no strict meters or forms, and no free verse), and the capture of an instant of time and the emphasis of speed.


inmedias res: in the middle

Comments (2)

Emily Burrell said

at 3:08 pm on Feb 8, 2010

Here is a brief start of the notes. I wasn't sure exactly what to write for the summary since we spent so much class time on modernism and Pound. So add whatever you guys think we need and we also need another passage added. I will check back tomorrow to see what else needs to be added.

Brian Croxall said

at 10:33 pm on Feb 13, 2010

This is a good start to a set of notes, but that's all that it really is. Your summary is a pretty good sketch of the things that we talked about, but it can be much more detailed. For example, I appreciate the fact that you defined modernism and imagism in the key terms, but since that was a basic point of the class it wouldn't have been time wasted to mention these definitions twice. You don't have to do it that way, but you could have. You certainly could have expanded to say more on the poems in the summary as well. Using only 166 words out of your 250-300 isn't ideal for preparing for your exam either.

You chose two fine passages to explicate, but the explanations of them are too short. You touch on almost everything that was said about Pound's poem, but it would be difficult for someone that was not in class to understand what you mean and how it relates to the lines. For example, you do not mention that we discussed how the form of the haiku was related to modernism's desire to move away from traditional forms and that here Pound turns to inspiration from the East, although he changes it. In the Frost poem, you say that everything comes together in those four lines, but it is not at all clear what you mean by this.

Your definitions are fine, although it should be "in medias res." Your performance on the notes and their lack of polish is not all that surprising since only 2 out of 5 group members contributed to the notes. I take this assignment very seriously, and I would like to see all of you step it up for the rest of the semester.

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