ENGL 983: Seminar in American Literature

American Poetry- Close/Distant Reading

Final Class

paper submission

Louis Zukofsky

LZ Poems

  • Poem Beginning 'The'

A serious and comic poem, rejoinder of sorts to T.S. Eliot, published in Pound's Exile. First major poem; consider ironic and comic scholasticism; crossing themes of high culture, politics, and low wit; cultural erudition and desire to be of its historical moment. How "modernist"? How does the allusiveness, the tissue of quotations and references, resonate with the reader? What views of tradition, innovation, continuity or breaks are conveyed?

Contextual reading. See Z Site for scholarship

Recording of "The"

Zukofsky on the Soundtrack for NETV Film in the USA Poetry Series March 16, 1966 Poem beginning "The", 1st Movement (2:50)


  • Mapping Connections, Contrasts

Eliot, Stein, Frost, Loy, Williams, Pound, Moore, HD, Johnson, Stevens, Zukofskyu