Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

Modernism Portal

Poetry in Tolkien's Time

While Tolkien was thinking up the earliest inklings of his Legendarium, he and his peers were fighting in the trenches of World War I--and writing poetry about it. Later, as he taught at Oxford, published The Hobbit, and wrote The Lord of the Rings, his great modernist contemporaries changed poetry forever with their experiments in free verse, then dominated the literary scene. In this course, we'll briefly look at verses by Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, and Barfield, then see what their more famous friends were up to. We'll give a day to soldier-poets of WWI, then devote time to Yeats, Eliot, Auden, and Pound. We'll glance at Stein, Stephen Spender, David Jones, and whichever other British Modernists you're interested in. Of necessity, this will be a brief fly-over survey, but deeper dives are possible in the future.
Precepted by Sørina Higgins.

William Butler Yeats: The Magical Modernist

W. B. Yeats is arguably the greatest English-language poet of the Twentieth Century, yet the majority of his work is little known today outside of academia. He was also a playwright, novelist, author of a psycho-spiritual history of thought, Irish patriot, occult master, and creator of a religious/philosophical mythology. His beautiful, mystical, difficult works span (and indeed, define) at least three phases of late-19th- and early-to-mid-20th-century literature, providing an inescapable influence on authors of his time and thereafter. This module provides an overview of his poetry, from his early "Celtic twilight" phase through his modernist explorations to his late, great final works. We'll also glance at his drama and literary networks. Along the way, we'll explore a little bit about his life, social context, politics, spiritual explorations, and practical magic.
Precepted by Sørina Higgins.
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