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.
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.
- Instructors: Al Filreis
- School: University of Pennsylvania
- Subject: Humanities & Social Studies
- Publisher: Coursera
- Take the Course: Start Now »
- Starts: 12 September, 2015
- Ends: 21 November, 2015
Course Reviews (18)
I am a retired lawyer with a lifelong interest in poetry. Most of my interest has been in traditional verse although I was intrigued by contemporary movements in poetics. So I signed up for this course, my very first MOOC, and at the same time Jonathan Biss's superb course on Beethoven's piano sonatas. Both Coursera courses exceeded my wildest expectations. Especially, Prof. Filreis's ModPo. It has been an experience of a lifetime delving closely into so many beautiful poems, poets and ideas. Miraculously, Al's class has all the intimacy of a small seminar, all its engagement, all its enthusiasm, humor and excitement. Add to that the global dimension and it's nothing short of breathtaking. I have been out of school for decades. What a fabulous way to return! This class deserves the most stars and more in each of your categories.
This MOOC scores highly on all official measures, yet these do not reveal its true beauty, which is that out of its vastness develops a community which shares its many hearts, and is learning to care to only for writing, but for each other. This is the power of poetry.
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