This course will provide an overview of twentieth-century poetry by considering innovations in the poetic line. We will pay attention to the music of the individual line, working our way through the complications of prosody. Our readings will begin with four poets of the nineteenth century who delineated the contours of the new century-Whitman, Dickinson, Hardy, and Hopkins-in order to lay out crucial contrasts between unending lines and painfully brief ones, dark rhymes and new rhythms. We’ll go on to consider modernist revolutions, formal properties of the Harlem Renaissance, the breath of beat poetry, the momentum of confession, and close on different experiments at the end of the century. Course requirements: 3 short papers, in-class presentation, and participation in discussion.