Six modern poets

Course Dates: 04/06/20 - 09/07/20
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: International House

Explore the work of six giants of modern poetry – from Hardys’ moving reflections on love, through TS Eliot’s revolutionary modernism, to Larkin, Heaney, Robert Frost and the confessional poems of Anne Sexton.


What is the course about?

The course is an introduction to some of the best of modern poetry, and the ideas, dreams and conflicts which shaped it.

What will we cover?

In each class we’ll be reading a handful of the best poems by these authors, looking at them in detail and learning about the lives and preoccupations of the poets and the context in which they wrote.

Thomas Hardy was a poet who captured the ironies of love, loss and fate; TS Eliot set poetry on a revolutionary new modernist course; Philip Larkin’s poems are finely wrought, ironic reflections on modern life; Seamus Heaney brought the sense of the soil and the history of Ireland to his poems; Robert Frost used his experience of life in rural New England to explore philosophical themes; Anne Sexton was one of the greatest of the “confessional” poets, drawing deep on her own mental anguish for her powerful poetry.

The emphasis will be on close study (and enjoyment) of the language, imagery and ideas of the poems themselves.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Recognise recurring themes in modern poetry
• Relate these to the wider world of modern culture
• Feel confident enough to explore further study of modern poetry on your own.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is introductory. An enthusiasm for reading and discussion is all that is required.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course is an interactive mixture of tutor exposition and class discussion. Videos and clips will also be shown and discussed. You will asked to read the texts before the class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Texts will be provided by the tutor in advance.

Apart from the reading material, you should bring with you pens, notepaper and file in which to store handouts and other course materials.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

See other poetry courses under Literature/History, Culture and Writing on our website,

Tutor Biographies
Julian Birkett

Julian Birkett is a teacher and writer specialising in modern literature. He previously worked in the Arts department at the BBC as a producer of series such as The Late Show, Modern Poets in their Own Words, The Victorians and The Culture Show. He has taught in London and at the University of Mumbai.He aims to create a friendly but thoughtful atmosphere in his City Lit classes and to provide a stimulating variety of activities from tutor input to discussion to group work and video clips.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HLT174

Thu, eve, 04 Jun - 09 Jul '20

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Full fee: £89.00
Senior fee: £89.00
Concession: £39.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.