Delve Fall 2019: Mid-century Moderns: the Poetry of Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens


Delve Fall 2019: Mid-century Moderns: the Poetry of Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens


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Wednesdays, September 11–October 16, 2019
7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. (six sessions)
Guide: Christopher Zinn

Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens were two of the most important modern American poets.  Their collected poems represent distinct and original responses to twentieth century literary modernism and to the culture of their time.  And unlike T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, they did not gain early notoriety through radical technique or bold pronouncement.  Drawn as they were to the international currents of modernism, they also remained rooted in the American scene and developed their own, deeply personal approaches to becoming modern poets.  As they grew as poets and slowly published their work, the value and enormity of their achievement was gradually recognized.  Frost was no longer seen as a regional poet of a vanishing rural world, and Stevens was recognized as more than a home-grown aesthete exploring the beauty of language for its own sake.   By mid-century, Frost and Stevens, each in their own way, were recognized as major poets, both deeply philosophical and original, with a body of work that used familiar poetic forms to register complex feelings and perceptions in a troubled time. 

In this seminar we will read and study the work of both poets closely, focusing on major long poems by each author while also ranging across their collected works in order to develop a full picture of the life and work of each poet and the significance and value of their accomplishment.  


Christopher Zinn grew up in Pine City, New York, and was educated at Georgetown and at New York University, where he received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature. Christopher currently teaches humanities at the Portland Waldorf High School. 2019/2020 marks his thirteenth season as a Delve Guide.

Delve Access Program
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