Class information

Provider Coursera logo
Institution University of Pennsylvania
Code N/A
Language English
Next session To be announced
Estimated workload 5-10 hours/week
Level N/A
Categories Arts
Humanities
Instructors Al Filreis

Sessions

Start date Duration
Past Sept. 12, 2015 10 weeks
Past Sept. 6, 2014 10 weeks
Past Sept. 7, 2013 10 weeks
Past Sept. 10, 2012 10 weeks

Note that archives might still be available for past sessions.

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 ...

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Prerequisites

N/A

Blackboard

13 posts

  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Currently Enrolled
    If you seek excellence you will find it in this course. Professor Al Filres' ability to teach and communicate is matched only by his vast knowledge, energy and enthusiasm which is catching. His style of teaching is so accessible, I feel as if I am sitting around the table with him and his talented TAs discussing poems and become drawn into the world of US poetry which to date had been a closed book for me. I enrolled on this course as I wished for poetry in my life, but I have gained so much more. This course is a community of like-minded people of huge talent and I could not recommend it more. Exceeds all expectations.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months agoFeatured
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Currently Enrolled
    As far as Life experiences go, ModPo has crushed it. Can I describe it ? I can try. I would go back to the beginning and retrace my steps a hundred times and each time the journey would be different. The steps change, the way each step feels has been altered. Then I look up and notice the scenery is unfamiliar, but inviting. The path is new here and some friendly faces have shown up with smiles. Becoming immersed in ModPo begins to feel less about poetry and more about introspection with benefits. Then I look up and notice the scenery is unfamiliar and glazed with rain water. The Love that I have to share overflows with every step and I can't give it away fast enough. The gates swing wide open because the "something there is that doesn't Love a wall." is you and I. This class continues to be the most rewarding academic experience I have ever been involved in. The MOOC interest and availability will hopefully continue to expand until everyone who has a desire for education can have the opportunity to learn.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Currently Enrolled
    I'm amused to note that "status" doesn't allow for two choices, as perhaps that speaks most loudly to what a wonderful course this is. I completed the course last year, with certificate, and have re-upped, this time on an audit basis, to delve more deeply into certain poets and learn more about others, and most of all, because being part of this worldwide poetry community, created and fostered with intelligence and passion by Al Filreis and the TAs (both on site and now from the ModPo participant community itself), has been and continues to be the single most exciting, involving, and renewing educational experience I've ever had.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Successfully Completed (with Certificate)
    I have completed this course, have a certificate and am currently re-enrolled. Why would I do that? The course "difficulty" is as hard or easy as the student makes it. The material at every level of involvement is challenging. No student will master completely any of the poems presented. However if you the student invest yourself in this meeting with poets and poems, you may be mastered by one or several of them.

    The course is designed to introduce the student to poets and their poems from 20th and 21st Century U.S. literature. This is a technique. A deeper aim of the course is to let loose in the student a river that starts in the brain-mountains, flows through forests of shared social, military, political, religious history and fields of intellectual process, to the ocean of shared American life.

    Discussion (rather than lecture) elicits and reenforces the genius of each student as together 35,000 students from around the world contribute to "the truth in the room" of each poem. Participation flows in all directions through every medium.

    Ultimately the achievement of this course is not that it adds to the stature of an immensely talented and scholarly teacher, not that it substantially challenges the structure of paternalistic instruction common even in MOOCs, not that it builds a lasting and world wide community of thoughtful and articulate students. The course achieves all these things but none are its ultimate achievement. It's ultimate achievement is that while doing all this, it opens for each student, at his or her own level of understanding, a personal, life-long, life-giving relationship with poets and and poems that can only be called -- love.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Currently Enrolled
    Wonderful course. Gives a different outlook on reading and understanding poetry.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Currently Enrolled
    Wonderful, inspiring course.

    I'm amazed at the endless variety of readings people come up with when looking at exactly the same words on a page.

    I believe that the community discussions and links created as an integral part of the course stay live right until the course starts again next year. So there won't be a sad farewell come November 18th, but a continuing opportunity to interact with the texts and with the many thousands of us around the world.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Currently Enrolled
    My first MOOC course, now I'm a convert: if the others have anything near the quality of this one.
    Fast paced, but taught with such enthusiasm and generosity on the part of the professor, Al Filreis, and his excellent team of TAs. Their seminar style video discussions of the poems and poets are probably the best teaching I have ever witnessed or taken part in; and we DO feel that we are taking part. Once a week a live video discussion fields comments and questions from the participants by phone and internet. The guest poets and speakers are fascinating, but so are the comments from other students. There is a real sense of 'learning together.' The discussion forums allow one to participate as much, or as little , as one likes (or has time for.) It's all lively and friendly, but also very serious and in-depth. People are really thinking and working at understanding and the differing experiences of each in this international community bring many new ideas, opinions, and facts.
    Even when the course is over, I will be able to continue my study with the techniques I've learned, and because my eyes and ears have been opened.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Currently Enrolled
    20+ years in schools, colleges, and universities did not inspire me even once like this course has in just a few weeks. THIS is what learning has to be about. The Generosity (yes.. capital G) and the sense of community that the class engenders, in no small part starts from Professor Al Filreis and his TA's, and is one of the highlights of the course. In this regard, I also want to mention the discussion forums (and the MOOC Facebook group), where the students - who come from all spheres of life and from so many different countries around the world -- add to the learnings= and build on what is "taught" in class in so many different ways. The "in-class" teaching itself is open-ended, provoking thought and never didactic. Abstract and sometimes meaningless language ("babbling", Stein, Dickinson, etc.) that can otherwise confound or at least throw up a wall of resistance now become accessible after this course because we learn to read poetry without necessarily paying attention all the time to meaning. Poetry reveals itself in new ways sometimes when you just open your minds and "listen". Or as Wallace Stevens put it: "The poem must resist the intelligence / Almost successfully." From Dickinson to Ashbery, what is not familiar is what beguiles and engages us. I resisted the opaqueness in their poetry when I read them early on but slowly, over time, I've come to appreciate the mystery. ModPo has clearly been an essential part of this awakening, if you will, and for that I will be eternally thankful. Everything I read these days, I see it through the lens of what I learn and read in ModPo -- that is definitely one big mark of impact.

    I have never taken a MOOC before but am encouraged by how it is possible to teach - even multiple thousands of us - via such a forum.
    There is nothing I dislike about the course; if only I had more time to give to it every week because there are so many aspects of the course that I wish I could delve deeper into.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Reasonably Easy
    Currently Enrolled
    I've taken several courses and this is by far my favorite. Great interaction between the students and the faculty. Schedules are full, but not over stuffed. Assignments are thought provoking, but not mind boggling. There is something for everyone. Whether you are a poet or new to poetry, English speaking or trying to learn English; this course will broaden your horizons in so many way.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Currently Enrolled
    As a literature student, i was looking for a teaching process completely different from the everyday conventional methods. The education system and syllabus delves into the implicit contrast of the mundane teaching habits which captures a student's interest and helps him evolve as a pro with dynamic equllibrium between novelty and stability. We are given a chance to demonstrate our understanding in the field of poetry. Five weeks later, I am a student with creative potential at its best.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Reasonably Easy
    Currently Enrolled
    This course went far beyond my expectations.
    The method is very engaging - we follow the discussions of an enthusiastic teacher - Al Filreis - with his group of bright and ever so generous young students. It's lively, unexpected and fun most of the times. Complementing, there's talks with other poets, teachers, and other people who get together to share something they are passionate about.
    And we feel part of it all the way, the course is WITH us, not just for us.
    Working in a full time/overtime job and not being able to enrol classic courses to pursue my interests or simply stretch my mind, I'm finding this online course a precious source of knowledge. Although "fast paced", all matters are discussed "substantially" and accurately. And even if I not able to participate in the forums as often as I wished, it's always a joy to sign in and discover and learn and be surprised once again.
    I am sure that all the texts, references and ideas that are crossing this amazing community will stay with me a long time and provide me chances to dig in deeper in poets and poetry. I will be forever grateful to the amazing team and all the classmates of ModPo.
    The sessions for week 6 have just been uploaded, I'm rushing now, only time to add that I'm from Lisbon, Portugal, and English not being my first language, I'm having no trouble following the texts or the videos - so don't let language or distance deter you!
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Intermediate
    Currently Enrolled
    Great course. Not only have I already learned so much in these first five weeks, it's also more fun than I ever imagined. The course offers many different materials, i.e. reading material, videos, and sound recordings. It's interactive: students can participate through online forums, facebook, twitter, and even call in during the live webcasts. Last but not least: Al Filreis is an amazing and inspiring teacher.
  • Written 3 years, 6 months ago
    Materials: Excellent
    Difficulty: Hard
    Currently Enrolled
    What's great about this course is that you can dedicate hours on end to it if you have the time and if you don't you can just work on the course on weekends. You can follow the whole course or just the authors that interest you. People who have studied poetry and know a lot about it enjoy the course as well as people like me who know little about poetry and take this course to learn more.
    Al Filreis is an excellent teacher and I think the biggest quality of this course is its interactivity. In addition, the way the video discussions are given invites you in, so you feel a part of it as much as everyone else.

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