FR30300 Contemporary French Poetry

Academic Year 2020/2021

This module examines the development of French poetry in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. Situating recent poetic writing in relation to previous literary movements and traditions, it engages with the practice and theory of poetry at once as linguistic experiment and existential questioning. Emphasis will be placed on the essential opening poetry performs as an endlessly renewed but also often fraught interaction between word and world, in a time of accelerated change and unprecedented global crisis. New forms of lyricism that embody this vital opening will be explored through the works of three poets: Guillevic, Yves Bonnefoy and Bernard Noël.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should be able to: present an informed view of the nature and function of poetry; identify and analyse the formal and thematic characteristics of the set poetic texts; relate the set texts to a broader historical backdrop as well as to recent critical debate concerning the evolution of the genre.

Indicative Module Content:

Possible topics include:
literary heritage and the history of poetry since Romanticism
changing forms of lyricism
the poetic subject
space and time in poetry
the body in poetry
poetry and other art forms
word and world, writing and living

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Small group work
Student presentations 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Level-two French language modules FR20020 and FR20040 are prerequisites for this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
FR20020 - French Language II a, FR20040 - French Language II b

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: End-of-Semester Examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Essay: Critical Analysis Week 6 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Mid-term assignment submitted in week 6, individual assignment feedback (written) in week 10 and group in-class feedback in week 10, final assessment: end of module exam

Guillevic, Possibles futurs, Gallimard, 2015
Bernard Noël, La Chute des temps, Gallimard, 1993
Yves Bonnefoy, Les Planches courbes, Gallimard, 2015