Those Various Scalpels – Four Modernist Women
The Modernist era is often critiqued as being overly patriarchal and predominantly promoting the work of male writers. Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, Lola Ridge and HD are four major Modernist poets – incredibly distinctive characters, with original oeuvres – whose exceptional work challenges these prejudices and presents rich material for contemporary readers. This course encourages wide reading of poems and extracts from these four poets, alongside occasional criticism, letters, and relevant work from other writers, to shed light on their important and revered work in this era.
Over the course participants will explore Moore’s poem ‘Those Various Scalpels’ and how it is thought by some critics to be a complex commentary and reaction to Mina Loy’s beauty, look over Ezra Pound’s Hilda’s Book, written for HD, and in her own work see why she was considered a leading light of the movement, discuss how Marianne Moore’s complex, obscure, and witty poems also found fame in baseball stadiums, analyse Mina Loy’s early, idiosyncratic Feminist manifesto and track Lola Ridge’s initial rise, her later erasure from the canon by The New Formalists and then her inevitable rise again.