Upenn Faculty Essay

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For those doing Mod Po on their own or in small groups, the week 1 materials are open and available all year.

In this first week of our course, we'll encounter two 19th-century American poets whose quite different approaches to verse similarly challenged the official verse culture of the time.

Modernism in poetry had many beginnings; imagism marks just one.

But in a fast introduction, this brief but influential movement gives us a good place to start.

ASSIGNMENTS: During this week there are two quizzes due (see below).

This is also the week in which peer reviews of writing assignment #1 are due.

As a matter of form (but also of content), Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson were radicals. In a way, this course is all about exploring expressions of that radicalism from Whitman and Dickinson to the present day.

Such challenges to official verse culture (and often U. culture at large) present us with a lineage of ideas about art and expression, a tradition that can be outlined, mostly followed, somewhat traced.

Of the three—Lorine Niedecker, Cid Corman, and Rae Armantrout—only the last could be said to be a direct poetic descendant of Emily Dickinson's aesthetic.

ASSIGNMENTS: During this week, there are two quizzes due and a writing assignment.


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