Fall 2018


Three Early 20th-Century American Poets: Eliot, Frost and Stevens (55+)

T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens are three of the most important American poets of the 20th century. Yet each is very different in mode, both stylistic and substantive, from the others. Frost and Eliot are both widely known and greatly loved, though for quite different reasons—and mixed feelings are not unusual when it comes to Eliot. Stevens may be less well known but is probably the greatest poet of the three.

We will read a wide selection of representative poems by the three writers, and explore them through a combination of lecture and discussion. You are advised to read the poems before the class takes them up—and again, in a new light, after our analysis.

Note: Back by popular demand, from fall 2016. A course pack of readings will be provided.

Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Vancouver 6 Joe Ronsley $115.00 5 Register

What will I learn?

Week 1: Robert Frost

The Pasture, Storm Fear, The Vantage Point, Mowing, The Tuft of Flowers, Mending Wall, The Death of the Hired Man, Home Burial, Blueberries, After Apple-Picking, The Wood-Pile, The Road Not Taken, Birches, The Last Word of a Bluebird, Out, Out—, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, To Earthward, Spring Pools, Acquainted with the Night, Two Tramps in Mud Time, Departmental, Desert Places, Design, Provide, Provide.

Week 2: T. S. Eliot

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Preludes, Gerontion, Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar, The Hippopotamus, Mr. Eliot’s Sunday Morning Service, Sweeney Among the Nightingales.

Week 3: T. S. Eliot

The Waste Land: The Burial of the Dead, A Game of Chess, The Fire Sermon, Death by Water, What the Thunder Said; The Hollow Men.

Week 4: Wallace Stevens

The Snow Man, Peter Quince at the Clavier, A High-Toned Old Christian Woman, Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock, Anecdote of the Jar, The Emperor of Ice Cream, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, Sea Surface Full of Clouds, Bantams in Pine Woods.

Week 5: Wallace Stevens

Sunday Morning, Le Monocle de Mon Oncle.

Week 6: Wallace Stevens

The Idea of Order at Key West, The Poems of Our Climate, Study of Two Pears, Connoisseur of Chaos, The Sense of the Sleight-of-hand Man, Asides on the Oboe, To an Old Philosopher in Rome.

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Discussion (may vary from class to class)
  • Papers (applicable only to certificate students)

How will I be evaluated?

For certificate students only:

Your instructor will evaluate you based on an essay, which you will complete at the end of the course. You will receive a grade of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

Textbooks and learning materials

There is required reading for this course.
A course pack of readings will be provided.


If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

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