A close comparative study of two major modernist poets who have had a formative influence on each other and on 20th-century literature in English. Both Yeats and Eliot had long and varied careers; both innovated their way into and out of high modernism; both were "national" poets in nations they did not easily fit. Each used all the resources of poetic language and critical thought to confront new aspects of his times, whether sexual or political, economic or technological, spiritual or aesthetic. Our readings will emphasize the poetry, but also consider essays, letters, and plays, as well as secondary works on key biographical and historical contexts. Graded requirements will include two critical essays, a research-based oral presentation, and a team project.