PART ONE. THE AGE OF HIGH MODERNISM
1 The Ascendancy of T. S. Eliot, 1925-1950
2 Eliot's Later Career
"The Hollow Men" and Ash Wednesday. Four Quartets.
3 Modes of Modern Style in the United States
E. E. Cummings. Archibald MacLeish. Robinson Jeffers.
4 Hart Crane
"A Plate of Vibrant Mercury." The Bridge.
5 The Poetry of Critical Intelligence
Sources and History of the Style. Metaphysical Wit. Samples of the Style. Laura Riding. Robert Graves. William Empson. John Crowe Ransom. Allen Tate. Yvor Winters.
6 The Period Style of the 1930s in England
The Impact of Auden. Coming after the Modernists. Poetry as Thinking and Talking. The English Tradition. Freud, Marx, and Lawrence. Politics and Romantic Convention. Day-Lewis, MacNeice, and Spender.
7 W. H. Auden
Auden in the 1930s. Long Poems of the 1940s. Poetry as Conversation. The Later Auden.
8 The English Romantic Revival, 1934-1945
The Beginnings of the Romantic Revival: Dylan Thomas, David Gascoyne, and George Barker. Edwin Muir. The War Years.
PART TWO. THE RESURGENCE OF POUND, WILLIAMS, AND STEVENS
9 Reappraising the Modernists
10 Ezra Pound: The Cantos
Components of the Texture. Ideograms. Incremental Repetition. Major Form. The Pisan Cantos. Paradiso.
11 The Impact of William Carlos Williams
The Williams Lyric. The Theory of the Poem. Paterson and the Last Poems.
12 The Later Poetry of Wallace Stevens
Harmonium. "Winter Devising Summer in Its Breast." The Theory of Poetry Is the Theory of Life." The Myth of a Sufficing Naturalism. The Major Poetry of the Final Phase.
13 Other Modernist Poets
David Jones. Basil Bunting. David Ignatow. Louis Zukofsky and the Objectivists.
PART THREE. POSTMODERNISM
14 The Postwar Period: Introduction
The Concept of a Period Style. Poetry in the United States. The Development of Contemporary Poetry.
15 Robert Penn Warren, Theodore Roethke, and Elizabeth Bishop
Robert Penn Warren. Minor American Poets and the Return of Romantic Values. Theodore Roethke. Elizabeth Bishop.
16 Breaking Through the New Criticism
Richard Wilbur. Randall Jarrell. John Berryman. Homage to Mistress Bradstreet. The Dream Songs.
17 Robert Lowell
Style as "Hardship." Life Studies. Lowell's Later Career.
18 In and Out of the Movement: The Generation of the 1950s in England
The Movement. The Style of the 1950s. Orientations to an Audience. Roy Fuller, C. H. Sisson, and R. S. Thomas. Larkin and His Contemporaries.
19 English Poetry in the 1960s and 1970s
Charles Tomlinson. Ted Hughes. Geoffrey Hill. Thom Gunn.
20 The Poetry of Ireland
Austin Clarke, Patrick Kavanagh. Thomas Kinsella. John Montague and Michael Longley. Seamus Heaney.
21 Open Form
Derivation from Pound and Williams. The Theory of Open Form. Syntax as Kinesis. Charles Olson. Robert Creeley. Denise Levertov, Edward Dorn, and Paul Blackburn. Robert Duncan.
22 Poetry in New York and San Francisco
Frank O'Hara and the 'New York School." Minor Poets of San Francisco. The Countercultural Ethos. Allen Ginsberg.
23 Against "Civilization"
A Shared Style. A Modal Poem. Robert Bly. James Wright. Galway Kinnell. W. S. Merwin. Gary Snyder.
24 Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Adrienne Rich
Sylvia Plath. Anne Sexton. Adrienne Rich.
25 Black Poets of America
Melvin Tolson. Robert Hayden. Gwendolyn Brooks. Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones).
26 Meditations of the Solitary Mind: John Ashbery and A. R. Ammons
John Ashbery. The Nature of the Real. Unsaying What You Say While You Are Saying It. Reading Ashbery. A. R. Ammons.
27 The Achievement of James Merrill
The Changing Light at Sandover. Merrill's Trilogy in Literary History. Readers versus the Ouija Board. 'The Book of Ephraim." Mirabell and Scripts for the Pageant.