American Women’s Poetry (Post-1900) Syllabus

Material Information

American Women’s Poetry (Post-1900) Syllabus
Marsha Bryant
Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research
Publication Date:
Physical Description:


syllabi ( aat )


The term women’s poetry isn’t as simple as it appears. Does it mean poetry about, by, or for women? Is it the same thing as feminist poetry? Does it always contest literary tradition or counter popular culture? Does it hover somewhere between Sappho and chick lit? How does the Women's Poetry label affect the ways we read, and how should it? What is the recent phenomenon of the gurlesque? These are some of the larger questions that were consider in this Spring 2012 course.
Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Michelle Harris.
Publication Status:

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.


This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


Bryant, LIT 3383 (sec. 0650) / WST 3930 (sec 05DG) Spring 2012 1900) Time & Place: MWF Period 3 in TUR 2322 Office: 4360 Turlington Hall Office Hours: M F Period 4 and by appointment E mail: Web: The term Does it mean poetry about by or for women? Is it the sa me thing as feminist poetry? Does it always co ntest literary tradition or counter popular culture? Does it hover somewhere between Sappho and chick lit? How does the WP label affect the ways we read, and how should it? What is the recent phenomenon of the gurlesque ? course. Note that y our careful preparation for and participation in discussion are important for the success of this class TEXTS (OBT should have them all) Edna St. Vincent Millay, Collected Sonnets (Harper) Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons (any edition) H.D., Trilogy (New Directions) Gwendolyn Brooks, Selected Poems (Harper) Sylvia Plath, Ariel, The Restored Edition (Harper) Anne Sexton, Transformations (Houghton/Mariner) Rita Dove, M other Love (Norton) Glenum & Greenberg, Gurlesque (Saturnalia) ASSIGNMENTS 10 % Panel Presentation 10 % Explication Paper (3 p.) on one of Millay's sonnets not discussed in class 15 % Anthology Review (5 p.) and the value of the women's poetry label 20 % Magazine Paper (7 8 p.) on how a relevant popular magazine provides key contexts for a poet 15% Class Participation 10% Parody of any poem on the syllabus, to be read aloud the last day of class 20 % Reading Qu izzes (1 2 weekly) POLICIES 1. You must complete all assignments to receive credit for this course. 2. Attendance: Like all lecture discussion courses, this one needs you! Use your allotted absences wisely (for emergencies, serious illness) as you would for any job. You will fail the course if you accrue more than 6 absences (the equivalent of 2 weeks of class). You will earn a lowered course grade if you accrue more than 4 absences. 3. If you are absent you are still responsible for knowing the material and for turning in any assignments due that day. 4. Cell Phones and other electronic devices must be turned off and put away before you enter the classroom. The only exception is when you are using an electronic edition of a textbook and show me. 5. Latecomers receive partial absences, and must see me after class. 6. Reading Quizzes cannot be made up, but I will drop your 3 lowest quiz scores. 7. Paper Format : Please put your e mail add ress on the front page of your paper, and make sure the printout is easy to read. Use this format: 12 point font, 1 inch margins, double spacing, numbered pages. Grammatical errors will cost you, so proofread.


8. Submitting Papers : Your papers are due in clas s on the assigned days (if you are absent, your paper should be in my Department mailbox when I return from class). Late papers and panel statements earn grade reductions; papers submitted a week late earn an "E." 9. Save That Paper Always make backup copie s of your work so it arrives on time. Also, save the graded work I return to you in case you ever request a letter of recommendation, which requires at least three 10. Participation : The quality and frequency of your contributions determine your participation grade. For example, repeating what someone else says does not move the conversation forward. Learning to participate effectively will help you understand the poetry and develop important professional skills. If ions, try asking questions. Remember that if you are confused about a poem, others are, too! Panels will help you feel more comfortable addressing the class. PANELS Each of you will participate in one class panel. This requires preparing a one page, doub le spaced statement in response to your topic (see below ). While the page limit inhibits full development of your ideas, you will have the opportunity to clarify your opinion during panel discussion. Follow this procedure so your panel runs smoothly: (1) I mail reminder. (2) Panelists distribute their statements to one another 9:00 a.m on the day before the panel TF format. (3) Do not get together before class, but be prep panel will begin with each of you reading your statement. (5) Next, panelists will ask each other questions and may amplify their own views. (6) Finally, the rest of the class will pose question s and comments. SYLLABUS 1/9 M Introduction; Millay 1/11 W Millay Thou art not lovelier than lilacs, no, Time does not bring relief; you all have lied, Not in this chamber only at my birth, If I should learn, in some quite casual way, I do but ask that you be always fair, I think I 1/13 F Millay "Oh, think not I am faithful to a vow!, Not with libations, but with shouts and laughter, We talk of taxes, and I call you friend"; "I shall forget you presently, my dear, Only until this cigarette is ended, Let you not say of me when I am old," 1/16 M No Class: MLK Day 1/18 W Millay "When you, that at this moment are to me, Love is not blind. I see with single eye, Oh, oh, you will be sorry for that word!, Pity me not because the light of day, Loving you less than life, a little less, What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why I, being born a woman and distressed PANEL 1 1/20 F Millay 62) 1/23 M Millay Now by this moon, before this moon shall wane, Heart, have no pity on this house of bone, You loved me not at all, but let it go, I too beneath your moon almighty Sex, Thou famished grave, I will not fill thee yet, 1/25 W Stein Tender Buttons: 1/27 F Stein Tender Buttons: 1/30 M Stein Tender Buttons: PANEL 2 2/1 W H.D Trilogy: The Walls Do Not Fall, 1 15 2/3 F DUE: Paper 1 ; H.D Trilogy: The Walls Do Not Fall, 16 43 2/6 M H.D. Trilogy: Tribute to the Angels, 1 18 2/8 W H.D. Trilogy: Tribute to the Angels, 19 43 ; PANEL 3 2/10 F H.D. Trilogy: The Flowering of the Rod, 1 19 2/13 M H.D. Trilogy: The Flowering of the Rod, 20 43 2/15 W Writing Workshop for Anthology Paper 2/17 F Brooks A Street in Bronzeville section: "kitchenette building, the mother, a song of the front yard, the ballad of chocolate Mabbie, Sadie and Maud, of De Witt Williams on his way to


Lincoln Cemetery 2/20 M Brooks Annie Allen : 2/22 W Brooks Annie Allen : ; PANEL 4 2/24 F Brooks Annie Allen : from children can be hard, What shall I give my children? Who are poor, First fight. Then fiddle, The Rites for Cousin Vit, Men of careful turns, haters of forks in 2/27 M Brooks The Bean Eaters: Strong Men, Riding Horses, The Bean Eaters, A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile, A Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon, The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till, 2/29 W DUE : Anthology Review; Roundtable Discussion 3/2 F Meet in Library West in front of the reference Desk (right side) for a microfilm orientation with librarian John Van Hook. 3/5 3/9 No Class: SPRING BREAK 3/12 M Plath early poems : Leavetaking, The Disquieting Muses, 3/14 W Plath The Night Dances, Medusa, The Moon and the Yew Tree, 3/16 F Plath The Applicant, The Jailor, Cut, Lesbos The Courage of Shutting 3/19 M Plath Ariel, Daddy, Fever 103 ; PANEL 5 3/21 W Plath The Arrival of the Bee Box, 3/23 F Sexton Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 3/26 M Sexton Iron Hans, 3/28 W Sexton Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes, Red Riding Hood Hansel and 3/30 F Sexton PANEL 6 4/2 M Writing Workshop for Magazine Paper 4/4 W Dove Mother Love: sections 1 2 4/6 F Dove Mother Love: section 3 4/9 M Dove Mother Love: sections 4 5; PANEL 7 4/11 W Dove Mother Love: sections 6 7 4/13 F Gurlesque : Reines, Coultas, Shaughnessy 4/16 M DUE : Magazine Paper; Gurlesque : Wagner, Hong, Pafunda 4/18 W Gurlesque : Lasky, Treadwell, Staples 4/20 F Gurlesque : PANEL 8 4/23 M Gurlesque : Glenum introduction Vap; Doris, Celona Discussion question: Who are your favorite and least favorite poets in the anthology? Why? 4/25 W DUE : Parodies Remember to submit your on line course evaluations so I can plan for next yea PANEL TOPICS: (note that all topics require at least 2 precise examples to support your opinion) 1. Millay. Discuss mind Oh, oh, I, bei ng born a Ultimately, does Millay's portrayal of the female body and its drives further or hinder her goal of giving women a stronger voice in love poetry? 2. Stein What does Stein risk with her experimental style, and what does she gain? Which outweighs which, in yo ur opinion? Do you find one section of Tender Buttons more successful than the others?


3. H D. The vision of The Lady in Tribute to the Angels is the most widely anthologized portion of Trilogy Discuss two ways that H.D.'s figure of the Lady intersects with the Christian figure of Mary, mother of agenda of re envisioning religion in Trilogy ? 4. Bro oks Brooks titled her central poem about Annie Allen What are two consequences of should we have for her? Does Annie gain anything by the end of the poem? 5. Plath whe re or toward what is her ascent aimed? 6. Sexton What does she mean by saying: is mostly similar to or different from Snow White? 7. Dove Why further entwined in the Paris sequence, do your sympathies lie more with Persephone or Demeter? Draw on 2 poems for your answers. (see pages 30 42) 8. Gurlesque What do you f Discussion Poem for Day 1: Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; No r yet a floating spar to men that sink And rise and sink and rise and sink again; Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; Yet many a man is making friends with death Even as I speak, for lack of lo ve alone. It well may be that in a difficult hour, Pinned down by pain and moaning for release, I might be driven to sell your love for peace, Or trade the memory of this night for food. It well may be. I do not think I would. -Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1931 (from Fatal Interview )