Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module ENGL52730: Modern Poetry

Department: English Studies

ENGL52730: Modern Poetry

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None



  • The module will consider major Irish poets (writing in English) since Yeats. It will focus on the work of the following poets: Patrick Kavanagh, Louis MacNeice, Thomas Kinsella, John Montague, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Tom Paulin and Paul Muldoon. The ways in which individual texts work will be explored and the module will also examine whether poets compose a tradition. One concern will be different reactions to the Yeatsian inheritance; another will be the imaginative treatment by the poets of politics and history. Prominence will be given to the poets' consideration of national identity, a major theme from MacNeice's 'Valediction' to Paulin's "'And Where Do You Stand on the National Question?''' Essential reading: The Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry, ed. Paul Muldoon.
  • The module will also consider Postwar Poetry in English. It will be accessible both to those who have not studied poetry intensively at undergraduate level but who would like to extend their knowledge and enjoyment of the subject, and to those with a more specialised interest and expertise. Seminars will foreground the poems, contextualising and exploring themes and more general issues where appropriate. Focus will be on the work of a selection of poets from the following: Donald Davie, Douglas Dunn, James Fenton, Thom Gunn, Tony Harrison, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin and Charles Tomlinson.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    Subject-specific Skills:
      Key Skills:

        Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

        Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

        Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
        Seminars 9 Across 2 terms 2 18
        Preparation and Reading 282
        Total 300

        Summative Assessment

        Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
        Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
        Essay 3000 words 50%
        Essay 3000 words 50%

        Formative Assessment:

        Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University