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Course Description:

In this fast-paced course we will read and encounter and discuss a great range of modern and contemporary U.S. poets working in the ""experimental mode,"" starting with the 19th-century proto-modernists Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman and ending with 21st-century conceptual poetics. Aside from providing a perhaps handy or helpful survey and chronology of 20th- and 21st-century poetry, this course offers a way of understanding general cultural transitions from modernism to postmodernism. Some people may wish to enroll as much to gain an understanding of the modernism/postmodernism problem through a study of poetry as to gain access to the work of these many poets. Participants do not need to have any prior knowledge of poetry or poetics. The instructor, Al Filreis, rarely lectures, and frequently calls for ""the end of the lecture as we know it""; instead, most of the video-recorded lessons will consist of collaborative close readings led by Filreis, seminar-style -- offering models or samples of readers' interpretations of these knotty but powerful poems, aided by the poetry-minded denizens of the Kelly Writers House on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

In-course Textbooks

As a student enrolled in this course, you will have free access to selected chapters and content for the duration of the course. All chapters were selected by the instructor specifically for this course. You will be able to access the Coursera edition of the e-textbook via an e-reader in the class site hosted by Chegg. If you click on “Buy this book”, you will be able to purchase the full version of the textbook, rather than the limited chapter selection in the Coursera edition. This initiative is made possible by Coursera’s collaboration with textbook publishers and Chegg.

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Course Reviews (18)
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Uriel Nascimento

November 15, 2013

An excellent course. It's not only that Al is a great teacher: he also leads us to discover the poetry hidden within every word we utter. Not only that, but the "class" format is made in a way that we feel like we're within the discussion. Also, we can really take part in the discussions through the forum where he and the gang (as we dearly call the members of the team) review our essays. I took the course because I had some problems with Robert Frost and because I'm a fan/student of Heidegger (the philosopher that loves romantic poetry) and I somewhat share his views on poetry. I couldn't expect that this course would lead me further, to the point where I can even disagree with Heidegger and sometimes refute him. As a philosophy student thats a huge enormous big deal. All in all this was the only course I took "seriously" i.e. I did all to get the state of accomplishment. Not because the state is more important than the knowledge but because I wanted to follow every rule and "milk that cow" as much as I could. This has been a great course.

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Abhishek Jha

November 15, 2013

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