English 62: Twentieth Century Poetry (but not from the U.S.)
Charles Bernstein (charles.bernstein @ english.upenn.edu)
Spring 2009 syllabus
will be posted in mid-December. Dates on this syllabus do not
apply to Spring 2009! Spring 2009 class will feature visiting
poets from New Zealand and China.
Wreading listserve archive
posts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: English 88 — 20th Century American Poetry — is the companion course to English 62.
This syllabus is a work in progress and subject to change.
Required Books (at Penn Book Center)
Jerome Rothenberg and Pierre Joris, eds., Poems for the Millennium Vols 1 and 2
Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp by Pierre Cabanne, tr. Ron Padgett
Modernisms: A Literary Guide by Peter Nicholls
1. (Jan. 9) Introduction
2. (Jan 11) Yeats
W. B. Yeats (1865-1939): "A Vision" and "The Second Coming"
Isle of Innisfree" and "Sailing to Byzantium" (via
class e-library: password required); or on e-mule: "Innisfree," "Sailing,"
Audio: three mp3 files:
(1)Yeats reading "Lake Isle of Innisfree," (2) his comments on this poem, and (3) his 1936 comments "On Modern Poetry";
Archive audio/text of "Innisfree"
Camp's 1964 folk setting of the poem)
Further information on Yeats, including biography and complete poems,
is available from LION via library e-recources.
Profiler self-test: fill out the profiler in the abstract, to reflect
your own preferences. If you have a question about the meaning of one
of the terms, post it to the blog. If you like: post your self-test to
•Use the profiler on Yeats
•What is Yeats's problem with modern poetry? (Based on
the 1936 sound recording.)
• What does the Lake Isle
of Innisfree symbolize?
• Describe Yeats's voice.
•What qualities do
you find distinctive to the recording (that you did
not necessarily find in the text)?
3/4. (Jan. 18/23) Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé
Charles Baudelaire, "À
une Mendiante Rousse" (1845-6), "La
Muse Vénale" . (1857) [these two poems will
be discussed on 1/18]; & selections in in PM1.
Mallarmé (1842-1898)[discussed in class 1/23]:
_____in PM1 (both selections)
in Poetry" (full essasy) -- OR-- just read the excerpt.
Arthur Rimbaud in PM1.
Baudelaire: see portrait of "La
petite mendiante rousse" by Emile Roy.
Always Drunken" (cf.: O'Neill quotes in Long
Day's Journey into Night)
_______ Further translations of the poem at Fleursdumal.org
and check links to complete
_______ . "To the reader"
["Hypocrite lecteur, -- mon semblable, -- mon frére"]
______. Essays: Salon
of 1959 & Painter
of Modern Life (1863)
Mallarmé. Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard (web versions French & English)
"Salut" -- in four versions; English translations
•Use Poem Profiler on Mallarmé, Rimbaud, and Baudelaire
•What is Baudelaire's attitude toward the "muse venal" (the venal must) and to the "mendiante rousse" (redhaired beggar)? Does he objectify them, is he sympathetic, empathetic? In what
way are these poem "modern" (subject matter? form? attitude?) Which translations do you like best, least & why?
•Contrast Yeats and Mallarmé and Baudelaire. Based on your
poem profiling self-test, what does this tell you about your preferences?
•What for Mallarme is "pure poetry"? What is the "crisis" for poetry? In Coup de des: what is the importance of the white space and of the layout? How would the poem be different if it was laid out in traditional stanzaic form (try that out to see)?
•Why does Eugene O'Neill quote Baudelaire and Dowson in
the last act of Long Day's Journey into Night?
Try a homophonic translation of Un Coup de Dés (French
version linked above) (see experiments list
#2). Comment on the result.
5. (Jan. 25) The Great War and Modern Memory:
Rupert Brook (1887-1915),
"The Soldier" (1914)
Owen (1893-1918): "Dulce
et Decorum est", "Greater
for a Doomed Youth"
Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967):
"Repression of War Experience" and "Blighters"
"Died of Wounds" & "Attack" (note:
full Sassoon poems & bio available on LION)
Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918), Trench Poems: "Break of Day in
the Trenches", “Returning, We Hear Larks", "Dead Man's
Furthter reading: Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory
•What are the attitudes toward war reflected in these poems? How
does this translate into the forms of the work.
•How does World War I affect modernist art?
• Pick your favorite and least favorite poem of the poets assigned.
What is the reason for your selection?
Wreading: Translate one of the poems into a totally contemporary idiom,
including references and diction. (That is, take one of the poems and imagine you were writing the "same" poem in 2006, with the current war and culture as your subject. Update the references but also the language, the diction/slang etc.)
6. (Jan. 30) Romance dies hard or maybe don't die at all
British poet Alfred Noyes (1880-1958), "The Highwayman" -- Audio: read
by Noyes; setting/song by Phil
more on Ochs's version)
Masefield (1878-1967), "Sea-Fever"; audio; from Salt
Water Ballads (1902)
- 1953), "Tarentella" (1932): audio and text;
also at Poetry
from A Shropshire Lad (1896): "Loveliest
of trees, the cherry now", "When
I was one-and-twenty", "With
rue my hear is laden" [word file of these three
Ernest Dowson (1867-1900): "Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae
Canadian poet Robert
Service's (1874(?)-1958) The Spell of the Yukon: "The
Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee" (also
avail. as word
to Jean Shepherd recite these poems: "McGrew" & McGee". Extensions
(optional): "The Land God Forgot" and "The
Extensions (optional): Belloc: set of poems; see esp., from A Bad Child's Book of Beasts (1896) "The Hippopotamus" & "The Dromedary";
also "The World Is Full of Double Beds"
•Go ahead, read the poems out loud.
•Discuss the politics of the form and prosody of these poets, with
special reference to their being part of the modernist period. In other
words, what particular political and social concerns are addressed by
each poem and how does their use of form reflect that. How do they
"fit" in to a period of wild formal experimentation? Any thoughts
on gender issues as reflected in the poems?
•How would you compare these poets to the War Poets (Owen,
•Belloc was fascinated by the grammaphone. How would this
have affected his poem?
•Is poetry that is entertaining or light less important that "art" poems such as those by Mallarmé?
•Do these poems lose their force with the passage of time?
Does that diminish the aesthetic value?
Wreading: Acrostic chance: apply a Mac Low acrostic procedure to one poem
#4). Comment on results.
7. (Feb. 1) Apollinaire & Cendrars
Blaise Cendrars, "Prose of the Transiberian" in PM1; see
image of work (painting by Sonia Delaunay) at Penn Library: overview, detail,
2d detail. Alternative web-tr by
Apollinaire [Guillelmus (or Wilhelm) Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky]
(1880-1918), "Zone" (1912) in PM1; note: "Zone" in French
____ Alcools (1913): "Le Pont Mirabeau" (& sound files), "Clotilde," & "Annie"
____Calligrammes: Poems of Peace and War 1913-1916
"Horse Calligramme" in PM1; "La
Colombe Poignardée et le jet d’eauat" & "Lettre
Ocean"; see others at UBU, but esp. "Il Pleut" (It Rains).
NOTE: In class, we will focus on "Le Point Mirabeau" and the "Calligrammes."
Extentions (optional): the remaining Apollinaire in PM1; more
Apollinaire in French &
•Contrast "Ombre" ("Shadow"), Apollinaire's World
War I poem, with Owen's and Sassoon's; and his "Le Point Mirabeau" with the lost-love pomes of the last set of readings.
•The Calligrammes make use visual arrangement and typography as an integral part of the poems. How does this affect the meaning or space of the poem. Compare to Mallarmé's use of white space and typogrpahy in Un coup de dés.
•Discuss the atmosphere or sensibility or mode of feeling in these poems. Use poem profiler.
•How do "Zone" and "Prose of the Transiberian" usher in the modern, new world?
Try some imitations of these poems. Or a homophonic translation
based on listening to Apollinaire's reading.
Juxtapose images and words for either of the poets (or one of the earlier poets)
along the lines of Delaunay's collaboration with Cendrars.
Make a "calligramme."
•Comment on your experiments so far: useful?, and, if so, in what
The best critical account of the futurist and formalist
poetry and art around the time of Wordl War I is Marjorie Perloff's The
El Lissitzky and Hans Arp, Kunstimen ("Artisms") book cover, 1925.
8. (Feb. 6) Marinetti & Italian Futurism
Marinetti & related in PM1: pp. 193-215
Images (Penn only): "Parole
in Liberta" (1915) also nonrestricted gif, "Vive
La France," study/drawing for "Vive
La France", "
Zang Tumb Tuuum"
Futurist time line (mirror of page); the gang
Marinetti PennSound page
of Luigi Russola with noise makers & his noise
For further reading/listenting:
Marinetti manifestoes: "The
Founding and Manifesto of Futurism" (1909), "We
Abjure Our Symbolist Masters, the Last Lovers of the Moon" (1911-15), "Technical
Manifesto of Futurist Literature" (1912), and "Portrait of Mussolini" (1929); "Destruction
of Syntax/Words in Freedom,, "War,
the World's Only Hygiene"
Futurism web site
Some more images and words
Mina Loy, “Feminist Manifesto,” “Aphorisms
on Futurism,” 1914 (pdf/Penn);
of ms of "Feminist Manifesto).
•Respond to the points made in Marinetti's manifesto. What
are the politics of this poetry? Why does he emphasize speed,
destruction, war, and the future?
•How is Marinetti's visual poetics different from Mallarme
•What is the signficance of "noise" in this work,
as for instance for Luigi Russola?
•Once again, this is writing that comes out of the period
around World War 1. Thoughts?
Rewrite one of the manifestos for a contemporary aesthetic
Burroughs fold in: Take two different pages of poetry or
manifesto and cut the pages in half vertically. Paste the mismatched
9. (Feb. 8) Russian Futurism .... & Mandelstam's Acmeism
PM1: pp. 220-250
Mayakovsky images (Penn only): "A
Tragedy" designed by David and Vladimir Burliuk (1914) ; Dliagolosa
(For the Voice) (1923); Book cover by Rodchenko
For class: Khlebnikov's "Incantation
by Laughter" and see also alt.
translation; plus focus on Kruchenyck/Larionov, Pomade (pdf
translation and audio); Mayakovsky, "Screaming My Head
to Mayakovsky read this poem, see alt. title "At the
Top of My Voice").
Russian Futurist manifesto: "A
Slap in the Face to Public Taste" (1917)
Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922), Manifestos ("We
accuse the older generation ...,: "The Word as Such," "The Letter
as Such" ; & at UBU and "The
Word as Such" (with Kruchonykh, 1913) & other essays, "To
the Artists"; Klebnikov@RussianPoetry.net
visual and zaum poems; see also Gerlad
Janecek's essay on Kruchonykh's zaum poetry
Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930), PennSound audio/bilingual poems
Liabov Popova (1889-1924): Constructivist
Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956), Cigarette ad; "Better
Pacifiers There Have Never Been"; Mayavoksy
ad for cookies;
portrait of Mayakovsky
avant-garde books (Getty collection of digized books) and pdfs
•What is your response to these approaches to poetry? In other words,
discuss the forms and significance of visual and sound poetry, and of
•Contrast Russian and Italian Futurism. How do the manifestosdiffer in orientation. A related question:
•What are the politics of this poetry? How does it connect with
the Revolution of 1917?
•Khlebnikov and Kruchonyk developed a conception of "zaum" poetry (transense), using invented words. Discuss this development: is it possible to communicate with made-up words, how does zaum relate to music and to more tradtional forms of poety.
•The Russian futurists engaged in many verbal-visual collaborations. Describe the specific approaches they took and the significance of these collaborations aesthetically, politically, and socially?
•A more general question: over the past weeks, you have been readings accounts of the First World War (and now the Russian Revolution) through poems. What is the difference between such a poet's eye view (or ear view) and that of an historian or from political documents of the time?
Wreading: create visual or sound poems or visual-verbal poems, or zaum
(neologistic/made-up words) poems. Or rearrange/cut-up material from this
week's reading to created your own poems.
10. (Feb. 13) German Expressionism
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) in PM1 (2 selections)
PM1: pp.263-265; Lasker-Schuller, "To the Barbarian" (p.
270), Benn & Trakl (pp. 277-285)
In class we will focus on Rilke, Duino Elegy #1; see notes by Bernstein and Perloff (just the beg. of the Perloff essay)
Extensions (optonal): RILKE: "Duino
Elegies" (bilingual, multiple translations); Rilke
in German; "Letter
to a Young Poet," "Torso
of an Archaic Apollo"
Some related images: Edvard Munch, "The
Scream" (1893), "Anxiety"
•Pick your favorite and least favorite
poems since the last time you made such a list. Give reasons
for your selection.
•Are these poets more expressive than the other poets, or is that
the approach to expression is different? What does each poem "express"?
•Expressionism is sometimes understood in terms of depth
rather than surface; yet Rilke might be said to be depthless.
Discuss the surface/depth distinction in terms of the poems.
•Pick two poems and give a brief summary of their content.
How is this summary different from the poem?
Wreading: Reverse the order of the poems, line for line or run the whole
poem backword. Next: don't reverse but scramble. Comment on result.
Try one of the translation experiments or try to do your own word-for-word translation.
11. (Feb. 15) DADA
At 5:30pm, digital poets Loss Pequeño Glazier and Jim Carpenter present their work at KHW. We discuss Glazier's work in the last week of the class.
(1896-1963) and Hugo Ball (1886-1927)vin PM1 (pp. 289-309, 746-48
Photo of Hugo Ball
Optional: Tzara, "Dadaism",
"Dada Manifesto"& alt. version (1918); from "Dada Manifesto" (1918) and "Lecture on Dada" (1922)
Raoul Hausmann: "The
Art Critic" (click on image to enlarge); "A.B.C.D.
Portrait of Artist", " Dad
Wins! (Dada Siegt!)" (1920)
Photo of Opening
of First International Dada Fair (1920), Photo
of Hausmann and Hoch
John Heartfield, "Rationalization
Is on the March" (1927), "This
is the Salvation They Bring" (1938), "Life
and Events in Universal-City at 12:05 noon"; "German
Hannah Hoch (1889-1978), "Collage", "Cut
with a Kitchen Knife"
•Why was this work denounced as anti-poetry: write an attack and
also a defense of the poetic/artistic value of the work.
•Continue discussion of surface/depth from the previous week
•How does collage operate in these works. How is collage differnt in poems versus visual art (e.g. (Hearfield, Hoch)?
•Much of this work is highly political without making direct political statement. Discuss the politics of form (collage, discontinuity, performance, manifesto) in these works.
•Dicuss the performances of Hugo Ball. In a more general way, discuss the performative nature of many of these works (at the most basic level — how does that differ from lyric poetry that one reads privately to oneself?)
•It is sometimes said that the Dadaists tried to break down the distinction between art and everyday life. How so?
Wreading: Tzara's hat: Cut up the poem into individual words (alternative:
phrase, line) and put them in a hat. Reassemble the poem according to
the order in which you pick the words from the hat. Can be done in a group.
12. (Feb. 20) Kurt Schwitters
Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) in PM1, & audio of "Ur Sonata"
Digital images: "Blue
of book collaboration
See also: Schwitters's Anna Blume (reprodiuction of German book); text of Anna Blume
Extensions (optional) on Sound Poetry:
Steve McCaffery's brief history of Sound
Poetry at Ubu and McCaffery in PM2, p. 427
McCaffery, Carnival: sight and sound (see IV. items 4 & 5, text and sound)
Henri Chopin, Fresque
de l'Impalapable voix (1990)
François Dufrêne, "Batteries
vocales, Crirythme" (1958)
Christian Prigent, "Orgasm" (1998)
Christian Bok -- Studio 111 performance, esp. 1, 4, 6, 7 (including another Hugo Ball)
Caroline Bergvall's "About Face"
Sound Poetry Index
•Compare Schwitter's, Hugo Ball, and Khebnikov in terms of poetics and the use of neologism (made-up words)
•Try to do a close listening of one movement of the Ur Sonata,mapping out its changes and what it might suggest to you?
• It is reported that when Schwitters first performed this, some in the audience wept? How is this possible? Is this work conceptual, intellectual, or visceral. Run the poetry profiler on the work.
•Do you see this as a work attacking "sense" (in a Dadaist way? otherwise?) or making a new kind of sound-sense?
•Has poetry gone too far with this? Is this even poetry? If this is poetry, how would you define a poem? If not, what is this? Why isn't it music (or is is music?)?
•Compare the versions of the Ur Sonata
•Discuss some of Schwitters other works. Compare his poetry to his visual art.
Wreading: Create a sound poem. If you have a sound editor: remix the Schwitters
files. Record or rehearse your own version of the Ur Sonata.
13. (Feb. 22) Duchamp:
The Bride Stripped Bare by Its Viewers (Maybe)
Pierre Cabanne. Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)
Duchamp in PM1
Duchamp collection at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art
Digital Images: Bicyle Wheel, Bottlerack/Dryer/Hedgehog, Disk inscribed with puns, Fountain, Rrose Savlevy (Man Ray), Bride Stripped Bare (via Phil. Museum of Art)
short sound clip
Extensions (optional): : interview with Duchamp (may not work) and another interview; Duchamp web site: Toute-fait (may not work); Marchel Duchamp.org
The Writings of Marcel Duchamp, De Capo Press
from Marjorie Peloff's 21st-Century Modernism, Chapter 3: The Conceptual Poetics of Marcel Duchamp [ .pdf | .rtf ]
•In what way might Duchamps' work be relevant for modernist poetry
(apart from the immediate fact of his own literary work)? Discuss in terms of both the ready-mades and the Large Glass.
•Discuss the approach to art that Duchamp takes in the Cabanne interview: is he doing away with art or shifting the frame of what we take to be be art?
•How does the voyeurism work in "Etant Donnee"; compare the use of the "gaze" with the Baudelaire's portraits of woman. or other poems in which this issue is relevant.
•Discuss the small fetish object on display at the museum, with special reference to the significance of the writing/inscriptions.
Wreading: Create a poem or collage based on cut-ups and excerpts from the Duchamp
14. (Feb. 27) Surrealism
PM1L 338-341, 465-485 (André Breton, Philippe Soupalt, Robert Desnos),
506-514 (Max Ernst)
manifestos [Penn only]
Andre Breton and Leon Trotsky, “Manifesto:
Towards a Free Revolutionary Art” (1938)
Further Reading/French Poetry (optional):
Alfred Jarry, Max Jacob, & Franics Ponge in PM1.
"The Cemetery by the Sea" (tr. Charles Guenther)
André Breton and Phillippe Soupault Les champs magnetiques
(Magnetic Fields), 1920
Georgio De Chirico, Hebdomeros
Jacques Rouboud and Anne-Marie Albiach in PM2
Red, Green, & Black, tr. Charles Bernstein and Cadiot
The Random House Book of Twentieth Century French Poetry, ed. Paul
The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry, ed. Mary
•Describe visual images in two poems. What is the relation of
the visual image to the poem's theme or point-of-view?
•What is surrealism?
•Use profiler on one or more poem
•Is there a politics to this poetry?
•Do you see a connection between Surrealim and Dada or Futurism (focussing on the poems of each movement)?
Substitution (1): "Mad libs." Take the poem or other source
text and put blanks in place of three or four words in each line, noting
the part of speech under each blank. Fill in the blanks being sure not
to recall the original context.
Substitution (2): "7 up or down." Take a poem or other
text and substitute another word for every noun, adjective,
adverb, and verb; determine the substitute word by looking up
the index word in the dictionary and going 7 up or down, or
one more, until you get a syntactically suitable replacement. (Cf.:
Lee Ann Brown's "Pledge" & Michael
Magee's "Pledge" (go
to p.37 of pdf
of Morning Constitutional) or Clark Coolidge
and Larry Fagin, On the Pumice of Morons.) If
you find this too pre-determined, remember that that
may be the value, your lack of control. However, a "liberal" alternative:
pick any one of the 7 words up or down.
Substitution (3): Find and replace. Systematically replace one word in
the source poem with another word or string of words. Perform this operation
serially with the same source text, increasing the number of words in
the replace string.
15. (March 1) Antonin
Artaud and Federico García
Artaud in PM1&2; Artaud
sound files at UBU
Lorca in PM1 (note: "Ode
for Walt Whitman" in Spanish; a web selection of
Lorca poems in Spanish)
Extensions: Lorca on "The
Theory and Function of the Duende" (c. 1933)
by Paul Blackburn (bilingual)
•Pick a poem of each poet give a brief summary of its content, taking
into account the way the form suggests content in these works. In other
words, treat the form and style as part of the "content" for
the purpose of answering this question.
Wreading: Lexical translation: Take a poem in a foreign language -- "Ode
for Walt Whitman" -- that you can pronounce but not necessarily understand
and translate it word for word with the help of a bilingual dictionary.
(Rewrite to suit?).
16. (March 13) Tom Raworth
Raworth will be reading at 6pm at the Kelly Writers House. This is a required class event. No wreading assignment or specific questions, but do post your reactions/responses to the book and the reading.
17. (March 15) Negritude: Senghour, Césaire,
PM1, pp.559-581, 736, 751, and PM2 p. 73-4
Extensions (optional): Listen to Clayton
Eshleman read his Césaire translation; Césaire
•Pick your favorite and least favorite poems since the last time
you made such a list. Give reasons for your selection.Use profiler.
•Contrast the poems read today with the poems from the past two recent classes
-- Surrealism and Lorca/Artaud, allowing the strong connection between
•Imagine Dumas's "SOS" was written but a white women from
the midwest. Would that change the meaning of the poem?
•If you know any French, try a bit of tranlsation of Césaire
•Negation/Opposites: Negate every phrase or sentence in the poem or in some way substitute opposite words for selected words in the source text: "I went to the beach" becomes "I went to the office"; "I got up" becomes "She sat down"; "I will" become "I will not"; etc. As an alternative, take a poem and change what it says line for line or phrase for phrase; not opposite, just different.
Extensions: Richard Foreman events
March 20: Richard Foreman-related screening, FBH 401, 5:30pm
March 22: Richard Foreman at Humanities Forum, 5pm (reg. required) &
18/19. (March 20 & 22) Our America
by Ernesto Grosman (from 99 Poets/1999)
The Americas -- Wikepdedia; short poet bios
Jose Marti (Cuba), "Our
Rubén Darío (Nicaragua) (Félix Rubén García
Sarmiento, 1867-1916): "To Roosevelt";
poem in Spanish (PM1); poems in Spanish
Vicente Huidobro (Chile) (note in two places in PM1): "Ars Poetica" in Spanish; poems in Spainish; another Spanish site
César Vallejo (Peru) (PM1), from Triilce [poems in Spanish]
Nicolàs Guillén (Cuba) (PM1); excerpts
from The Daily Daily; poems in Spanish
Pablo Neruda [Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto] (Chile) (PM1); also "Ode
with a Lament"; poems in Spanish
Maria Sabina (Mexico) (PM1 & PM2)
Cecilia Vicuna (Chile/US)
Further Reading: Roberto Tejada, In Relation: The Poetics and Politics of Cuba's Generation-80
•Discuss Marti's "Our America" in the context of these
•Does it make a difference that these poems were written in
Latin America; what would happen to the poems if you thought they were
written by a European of North American?
•Discuss the use of myths and other "fourth world" features in these poems (eg relation to inidigenous cultures, cultures that do not use writing systems, non-"Western" cultures).
• Pick your favorite and least favorite poem of the poets assigned.
What is the reason for your selection (use Profiler)?
•Try any of the translation exercises: lexical or homophonic if you don't know Spanish
•Eliminate all personal pronouns or self-reference in a poem.
•Write a version of one of these poems translated into a contemporary social/historical situation
20. (March 27) A Few
Carlos Drummond de Andrade in PM1, "The Dirty Hand" (pp.
the Middle of the Way"
the Kingdom of Poetry" or at PEPC
_____, "The Bomb"
Haroldo de Campos in PM2
____ "Circulado," with music by Caetano Veloso (alt. file in protected folder) & Veloso on this song (NOTE: the format is prose for original and translation).
concrete poems at UBU
Pignatari, Bebe Coca-Cola; see also Régis Bonvicino's version
Régis Bonvicino, "Blue
audio with bilingual texts: #s4 (Talvez), 7 (Me Transformo),
14 (Where), and 16 (Blue) (for texts: scroll down or use search
João Cabral de Melo Neto (1920-1999): Three
Paulo Leminksi:: untitled
Josely Vianna Baptista, one
poem from 99 Poets/1999
Carlos Drummond de Andrade in PM1 (remainder); also
three poems (bilingual)
Statements on Brazilian poetry from 99 Poets/1999 by de
Campos and Bonvicino
Selection of Poems; Charles
Bernstein on de Campos, Roland Greene on
de Campos; Galáxias
Cor de Abobora
Mary Ellen Solt on
Brazillian Concrete Poetry
Oswald de Andrade; anothter
tr; also Mary
Ann Caws tr.
Caetano Veloso: a few songs ( restricted access)
Jorge de Lima in PM1
•Write in some detail about two or three poems. Detail any literary
"devices" used (see Profiler).
Deformation: Use the "Meaning
Eater" engine to deform the text of
a poem. Use a sound editor to scramble, resound a sound file
of a poem.
21. (March 29) Hugh MacDiarmid (1892- 1978) & Synthetic Scots
Selection and note in PM1 and poem in PM2; then
go to selected
poems for "Watergaw" listen to
needed) or poem/text at
Poetry Archive ; then for Drunk
Man Looks at Thistle, follow
first 100 lines with audio at
PennSound; which also has audio for "British Leftish
Poetry 1930-40," "The Kind of Poetry I Want," and "The Glass
of Pure Water" (in PM2).
Full text of MacDiarmid at LION.
Extensions: "Revolutionary Art of the Future"; Bio and additional audio (Penn only)
Extensions (optional): Tom Leonard "Unrelated Incidents" and comment
•Discuss the audio recording: how does it compare to the printed
•What are the political implications of MacDiarmid's forms?
•MacDiarmid calls his language in "Drunk Man" "synthetic"
dialect. What does he mean by "synthetic"?
Convert one of the poems from the syllabus into your local dialect
Write a standard English translation of one of dialect poems
Extensions: March 30: Joan Retallack reads at Temple
22/23. (April 3/April 5) Dialectic of Dialect
Recommended: Tues., April 4, 6:30pm: UK Poets Redell Olsen & Drew Milne, poetry reading introduced by Jena Osman, discussion moderated by Bob Perelman. Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut Street
This set of readings extends from the MacDiarmid, so feel free to go back and forth between MacDiarmid and Bunting (who were friends and contemporaries) and Bennett and Smith and McCaffery. I have listed slightly less reading for April 3 to give you time to read Bunting and McCaffery.
O' Killing" and "Colonization in Reverse"; audio of "Colinization" (extensions: "Dutty Tough" audio)
Michael Smith, "It a Come" and " Mi C-Yaan Believe It"
Basil Bunting in
PM1: Opening lines of Briggflats & audio; extensions:
full text of the poem is available on LION (library/e-resources;
quick search: "Bunting Briggflatts". Also: Poetry
Archive has an excerpt from part 1, text and streaming-only
Steve McCaffery, "The Kommunist Manifesto or Wot We Wukkers
This is a translation into Yorkshire dialect of Marx & Engels' Communist
•Discuss the formal, stylistic, sonic, prosodic, ideological, nationalistic,
and political implications of these works.
•(Bennett:) Is humor an appropriate ingredient for serious poetry?
•Is this minor literature (in Deleuze and Guattari's sense)? (For
those who may know their book on this subject.)
•Compare MacDiarmid and Bunting, or Bunting and Smith
•Listening to additional cuts of Smith: what is the connection between his "dub poetry" and Reggae, or, to ask this another way, what is the relation of the poems to the songs?
Use the dialect engine to
translate poems from the syllabus into one or several "dialects".
Or do this just by the accent you give in reading the work out loud.
Create standard English versions of some of these poems.
24. (April 10) Exile: Turning without Return
Paul Celan: PM2 (three entries) & "Todesfuge" audio (and other poems) & (commentary); Sprachglitter (optional: commentary) [Unrestricted source for Celan sound files and poems]
Charles Bernstein, "Celan's
Folds and Veils" (from Texutual Practice 18:2, 2004) on
Jabes, Adonis, Darwish, in PM2
Adonis & Darwish
in 99 Poets
in 99 Poets
•How do these poets respond to exile? What's poetry got to do with it?
•What is Celan's relation to his "native" language or "mother tongue" and his other languages? In what way is Celan's relation to German expressed in his work
•How does the sound-shape of "Todesfugue" relate to its meaning?
•Is my Celan essay over-reading?
•Use the poem profiler on Celan
Try some homophonic translations of "Todesfugue"
Re-order "Todesfugue": lines in reverse direction; reverse direction
of the words. Erase half the words to create another poem.
Homolinguistic translation: Take a poem and translate it "English
to English" by substituting word for word, phrase for phrase, line
for line, or "free" translation as response to each phrase or
25. (April 12) Prose of Identities: Case Studies
Samuel Beckett & on-line or "Imaginatiion,
Dead, Imagine" (Penn only) or public site
Monique Wittig, and Nicole
Brossard in PM2
Wittig ("Corpse Lebien") in French original
in 99 Poets
Dubravka Djuric, "Post-Communist
Poetry" from 99 Poets/1999
___, "Disordering" & other poems (translationa follows original)
•Use the Poem Profiler to describe the mood, psychological state,
and other features of several poems.
Wreading: Cut-ups: take lines from these poems for this week and re-order
them into a new poem. Larger project: do a cut-up from all the poems we
have read so far.
26.(April 17) Digital Poetry
Cayley and Rosenberg in PM2
through the list, but start with Andrews's "On Lionel Kearns",
Stefans's "Dreamlive, Chang's "Dakota", and then Glazier's"Territorio Libre"
•What are the distinctive features of
this medium? Which poems did you like first
Wreading: Make your own digital poems or create a blueprint/plan for a
digital poem you would like to make
27. (April 19) LAST CLASS
As a final post, please give your response to the course, focussed primarily on the poetry and poetics, but also the class and listserve discussion of the poetry and poetics, the web-based syllabus, PennSound, and the wreading experiments. Chart changes in your thinking about poetry and poetics from before the class began to now. Thinking back on
all the poems read and heard, discuss/revisit some of the work that stays with you the most. For those who took both English 88 (American poetry) and English 62: compare the two sets of poetry/poetics read in each course. One final question (after Robert Duncan) and specifically in respect to the focus of this course: What don't you know?
What would you like to pursue?
All material for this class should be handed in by Friday, April 21. If you plan on submitting work after that time, please email; extensions are possible. For those who might like to do supplemental work for the class: by all means, expand on subjects already approached or pursue any of the "extensions." NOTE: supplemental work is not required for the course.
Extensions: Alan Golding on PM
PM launch reading at KWH on PennSound
Bonus Track One: Russian poetry modern and contempoary
Marina Tsvetayeva, Anna Akhmatova in PM1
Arkadii Dragomochenko in PM2
in 99 Poets
Bonus Track Two: Italian poetry modern and contemporary
Eugenio Montale, Guiseppe Ungaretti in PM1
Amelia Roselli in PM2
Elio Pagliarani at PennSound
Il Novissimi, Cesare Pavasse, Eduardo Sanguineti, Antonio
Porta, Adriano Spatola, Luigi Ballerini, Andrea Zonzotto, Milli
Graffi, Emilio Villa, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Milo de Angelis,
Gabriele D'Annunzio, Giulia Niccolai, Antonia Pozzi, Nanni Cagnone
Bonus Track Three: UK Now and Then
Auden; Sitwell in PM1
Raworth, O'Sullivan, Prynne in PM2
Shift" in 99 Poets and audio
Auden, "Musee des Beaux Arts"
Larkin, "This Be the Verse"
Dylan Thomas, sound files
Out of Everywhere: An Anthology of Contemporary Linguistically Innovative
Poetry by Women in North America & the UK, ed. Maggie O'Sullivan
Anthology of Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry, ed. Keith
Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970, ed. Richard Caddel and
Bonus Track Four: Vienna Group
PM2. pp/ 115-126
from Real Life"
Jandl at Ubu
Bonus Track Five: Caribbean Poetry
Malcolm de Chazal
Linton Kwezi Johnson
Bonus Track Six: Brecht & Weil
Bonus Track Seven: Concrete and Visual Poetry
Tom Phillips (PM2); see also Tom Phillips, Humament
Class Visitors 2005:
Christian Bok (Canada) (Last Class): Class Visit and Studio 111 recording.
Class will meet in the Kelly Writers House for reading and return to Studio 111 for interview
After the class, there will be a reception and class party in the Kelly Writers House (4:30 to 6)
Eunoia and audio of Eunoia
Christian Bok: sound poems at UBU. Note Bok at KWH April 6 at 3pm
For the Studio 111 recording, about half the class will be selected to ask questions as part of the recoding session. Submit proposed questions over the blog by Saturday at the lastest and I will select the group for the recording
Caroline Bergvall (UK/Europe): reading and Studio 111 recording sessions
Caroline Bergvall's "About Face" and "Via" (at PennSound)
___, Ambient Fish (digital poem, see class #24)
___, Eclat (dip in and out, as much as time allows)
Perloff on Bergvall and Bok
For the Studio 111 recording, about half the class will be selected to ask questions as part of the recoding session. Submit proposed questions over the blog by Saturday at the latest and I will select the group for the recording. For your response: comment on the work and also suggest several questions.
Wreading: "No wave." Retype the target work, without making any changes. Proofread for accuracy. Reflect on the process. The reformat the work with differnet typographic and visual elements.
Leevi Lehto visit (Finland)
Note: Class will meet in the Kelly Writers House Art Cafe
Lehto's talk, anthology, and photos of Penn visit
Lehto's short anthology of Finnish poetry..
Introduction to Lehto's work
Lehto's reading at KWH on 2/23/05
Paavo Haavikko in PM2
Background reading (optional):
Leevi Lehto author page
Kalevala (first written version of national "oral"/"folk" epic, 1835) Kalevala in English
Further reading (optional): Scandanavian Poets
Edith Södergran in PM1
Inger Christensen, Gunnar Ekelöff in PM2
Gunnar Björling, tr, Fredrik Herzberg (from boundary 2)
boundary 2 special Swedish supplement: Volume 29, Number 1, Spring 2002 (via Project Muse), includes Jesper Svenbro, Stig Larsson, Ann Jäderlund, Jörgen Gassilewski, Helena Eriksson, Lars Mikae Raattamaa
Try a variant of these three translation exercises using the "Lost in Translation" "Babel" engine, or other web-based translations engines, such as Babelfish and Free Translation.com.
Google Poem: construct a poem using Leevi Lehto's engine (use the patterns feature).
Li Zhimin -- a selection and
"Mity Poets" PoM pp. 752-769, esp; Bei Dao, "The
Answer" and Mang Ke "Apeherd."
Bei Dao at Jacket;
Haung Saussy on "Huida/The Answer" and Tiananmen Square
Yunte Hunag/Li Po
Javant Biarujia: Tenaraic; interview