English 62 / Comparative Literature 62:
Twentieth Century Poetry
(but not from the U.S.)

Charles Bernstein <charles.bernstein ***@ *** english.upenn.edu>

Spring 2015
T/Th 1:30pm

Discussion list (please subsribe): Re-Wreading

Note: English 269 and English 288 –– 20th Century American Poetry — and English 262 (post-1975) are the companion courses to English 62.

This syllabus is a work in progress and subject to change.

beginning of syllabus

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
Recommended (some copies at Penn Book Center)
Modernisms: A Literary Guideby Peter Nicholls
The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant Guerre, and the Language of Rupture by Marjorie Perloff

class lecture in first sessions: modernist time line
a related general introduction to the radical moment of 1913 in a one-hour radio program (from Dec. 2012) by Sara Fishko: here.

O. (Jan. 15) Introduction
Before this first class. try a Poem Profiler self-test: fill out the profiler in the abstract, to reflect your own preferences (see "course requirements"), and post to the list. 

Jan. 20 at 6pm: Jake Marmer and Klezmer band at Kelly Writers House (KWH)

reading highlight

1. (Jan. 20 & 22) Yeats and British poetry

1A. Yeats

W. B. Yeats & Gale (1865-1939): "A Vision" and "The Second Coming" (1919) in PM1;
___ star"Lake Isle of Innisfree" (1893) and "Sailing to Byzantium" (1927) (via class e-library: password required); or on e-mule: "Innisfree," "Sailing," "Second " ; plus "The Song of Wandering Aengus " (published 1899) (Donovan song version)
Audio: three mp3 files:
(1)Yeats reading "Lake Isle of Innisfree" via Poetry Archive [PennSound mp3]; (2) his comments on this poem, and (3) his 1936 comments "On Modern Poetry"
the sound PennSound sound files for Yeats require authentication via your PennKey]
Extenstion (optional):
Hamilton 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.
Poem 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 the blog.
• 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)?
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.

1B Romance dies hard or maybe don't die at all)
Dowson Wilde
British poet Alfred Noyes (1880-1958), star"The Highwayman" -- Audio: read by Noyes; setting/song by Phil Ochs (more on Ochs's version); animated/sung video from Britanica Dreams:LION Noyes bio
John Masefield (1878-1967),star "Sea-Fever";   Penn audio & public audio site; from Salt Water Ballads (1902); "Consecration"
Hilaire Belloc (1870 - 1953) and Poetry Achive bio,:star"Tarentella" (1932)
[archive backup: audio & text]
also at Poetry Archive
A.E. Housman
: 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 poems): Oxford bio
Ernest Dowson (1867-1900) & wiki: star"Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae" (published 1896); "Vitæ Summa Brevis Spem nos Vetet Incohare Longam" [Jack Lemmn recites this poem in The Days of Wine and Roses (1896)
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 file); Listen to Jean Shepherd recite these poems: "McGrew" & McGee". Service web site, Wiki, Oxford[registered students should be able to access these files; please let know immediately if you have any trouble. you can also find these cuts on Spotify, Rhapsody, &c.]
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 Bed"
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), "The Ballad of Reading Gaol." Wilde is from the previous generation to the other poets in this set, though younger than Swinburne and Rossetti and Tennyson. This is a prison poem written by Wilde in 1897–8, after his release and during his self-imposed exile in France and Italy; and published anonymously over his prison number, C33. Oxford intro. A brief commenary on the poem.
Michelle: respondent to Wilde

I would normally have assigned these poems after the French modernists, whose work is much more formally radical, but perhaps this way will allow for a great "shock of the new." Please keep that in mind in commenting on these poems.
• 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?
•Noyes was notably anti-modernist in his attitudes toward the newly emerging radical poetry? How is this reflected in his poem (well that is apparent on the face, but still ...) and more how is his own time period reflected in spitt of what is on the face, or is it a retreat into the past? How does the poem differ from earlier English ballads? Consider this set of questions in regard to Service -- who did not necessarily express a hostility to the "new' poetry. In what way is this new world -- the Canadian wilderness -- change the nature of the ballad -- is this a more popular/vulgar ballad vs the more refined Noyes? What are the gender politics in these poems?
• Belloc was fascinated by the grammaphone. How would this have affected his poem?
•Dowson is sometimes thought of as a "decadent" poet (see PEPP def.), though he is also became a devoted Catholicism. Why decadent (hint here)? When he write "I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion," what fashion is that? What is going on in this poem? How would you describe it's attitude? What is the specific historical attitude to women expressed in this poem and does it represent something novel? (Those of you who read around will discover that this poem is thought to be about the 23-year-old poets love of an 11-year old? How does affect your moral sensibilities?)
• Is poetry that is entertaining or light less important than "art" poems such as those by Yeats or Mallarmé?
• Do these poems lose their force with the passage of time? Does that diminish the aesthetic value?
If this segment was slightly later in the course, as planned, I would ask
• How would you compare these poets to the War Poets (Owen, Sassoon)?
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
>> Wreading: Acrostic chance: apply a Mac Low acrostic procedure to one poem (see Experiments, #8) . Comment on results

Thursday, January 29: 6:00 p.m. KEVIN KILLIAN. The 2015 Rachel Blau DuPlessis Lecturer in Poetry & Poetics: Temple Contemporary, the gallery at the Tyler School of Art, 2001 N. 13th St.

2. (Jan. 27/29) French Modernisms
PEPP def. "symbolism" (via library e-resources Princeton Encylopedia of Poetry & Poetic/LION (PEPP)

Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé

1897 first proof of Un coup

Charles Baudelaire (LION)
: star"À une Mendiante Rousse" (1845-6), "La Muse Vénale" (1857): but also selections in PM1.

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), starUn coup de dés will also be discussed in class:
_____in PM1 (both selections)
_____ "Crisis in Poetry" (full essay) -- OR-- just read the excerpt.
Extensions (optional):
Baudelaire: see portrait of "La petite mendiante rousse" by Emile Roy.
______  "Be Always Drunken" tr. Arthur Symmons (cf.: O'Neill quotes in Long Day's Journey into Night; along with ref. to Dowson), "Be Drunken" tr. Bernstein
_______ Further translations of the poem at Fleursdumal.org and check links to complete
_______ . "To the reader" ["Hypocrite lecteur, -- mon semblable, -- mon frère"]
______. Essays: Salon of 1848 & Painter of Modern Life (1863)
_______. French texts
_____, "À une Mendiante Rousse" (tr. lined-up side by side)
_____: my tr. side by side pdf

Mallarmé & Baudelaire: translations of Poe's "Raven"; Mallarmé's book was done in collabortation with Manet: web version of both translation via Text-Works

Arthur Rimbaud in PM1 (1854-1891): Bio
A Season in  Hell (bilingual). See selections in PM1. "Drunken Boat": Eng / Fr
cf: "Derangement of the Senses"

• Use Poem Profiler on Mallarmé, Rimbaud, and Baudelaire
• What is Baudelaire's attitude toward the "muse vénale" (the venal muse) and to the "mendiante rousse" (red-haired 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?
•The first line of Baudelaire's "À Mendiante Rousse" is "Blanche fille aux cheveux roux." The literal word for word translation would be "White girl with hair red." Here are some of the choices the translators made: Pale redhead, Palish girl with reddish hair, Pale red-headed girl, Pale girl with fiery hair, Pale red-haired girl, White girl with red hair. Discuss!
• What for Mallarme is "pure poetry"? What is the "crisis" for poetry? In Un Coup de dés: 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)?
•Discuss this quote from Paul Valéry on first seeing the poem: "It seemed to me that I was looking at the form and pattern of a thought, placed for the first time in finite space. Here space itself truly spoke, dreamed, and gave birth to temporal forms. Expectancy, doubt, concentration, all were visible things. With my own eye I could see silences that had assumed bodily shapes. Inappreciable instants became clearly visible: the fraction of a second during which an idea flashes into being and dies away; atoms of time that serve as the germs of infinite consequences lasting through psychological centuries — at last these appeared as beings, each surrounded with a palpable emptiness […] There in the same void with them, like some new form of matter arranged in systems or masses or trailing lines, coexisted the Word!"
• Why does Eugene O'Neill quote Baudelaire and Dowson in the last act of Long Day's Journey into Night. Is Baudelaire a "decadent" poet? What would Baudelaire have represented in 1912, as in the play? See O'Neill excerpt here.
•Rimbaud famous wrote, Je est un autre (I is another). Discuss this along with his other famous comments: Je dis qu'il faut être voyant, se faire voyant. Le poète se fait voyant par un long, immense et raisonné dérèglement de tous les sens.(I say one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The poet makes himself a seer by a long, immense, long, and reasoned derangement of all the senses.)
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
Try a homophonic translation of Un Coup dés (French version linked above) (see experiments list #2). Comment on the result.
For those who know French: try translating a poem.


3 (Feb. 3 & 5) Worlld War I

3A. The Great War and Modern Memory

Rupert Brooke (1887-1915), star"The Soldier" (1914) (Wiki & Oxford))
Wilfred Owen (& Oxford WWI archive has mss) (1893-1918): star"Dulce et Decorum est", "Greater Love", "Anthem for a Doomed Youth" [These poems also availble via LION at library e-resources.]
Siegfried Sassoon (& Oxford & WWI arch) (1886-1967): star "Repression of War Experience " and "Blighters," "Blighers" (ms), "Repression" & p. 2 (ms)
[also available at LION]
Sassoon respondent: Otto
Extensions (optional):
Sassoon, audio: "Died of Wounds" & "Attack"   (note: full Sassoon poems & bio available on LION)
Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918), see mss; Trench Poems: "Break of Day in the Trenches", “Returning, We Hear Larks", "Dead Man's Dump" (LION); further reading: "God" & text
Further reading: Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory
OUP's First World War digital archive
• What are the attitudes toward war reflected in these poems? How does this translate into the forms of the work. How do these poems contrast with earlier attitudes toward expressed in poems. Easy one: contrast Brooke to the others.
• 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?
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
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.)

3B. French modernisms (part 3)
Apollinaire& Cendrars (both head notes via (via LION/Columbia Dictionary)


Blaise Cendrars, "Prose of the Trans-Siberian" in PM1; see image of work (painting by Sonia Delaunay) at Penn Library: overview, detail, 2d detail. Alternative web-tr by Ekaterina Likhtik

Apollinaire [Guillelmus (or Wilhelm) Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky] (1880-1918), "Zone" (1912) in PM1; note: "Zone" in French
____ Alcools (1913): star"Le Pont Mirabeau" (& sound files), "Clotilde," & "Annie"
____Calligrammes: Poems of Peace and War 1913-1916 (1918): .star"Ombre", "Horse Calligramme" in PM1; star"La Colombe Poignardée et le jet d’eau" & "Lettre-Océan"; see others at UBU, but esp. star"Il Pleut" (It Rains).

Apollinaire on PennSound
NOTE: In class, we will focus on "Le Point Mirabeau" and the "Calligrammes."
Extentions (optional): the remaining Apollinaire in PM1; more Apollinaire in French & another site,
Calligrammes(pdf of full book)

resondent: Kirsten

• Compare the British WW I poets to Apolinaire's response to WWI (for last meeting) ... and also to love.
• Discuss "Ombre" ("Shadow") and "La Colombe Poignardée et le jet d’eau," two of Apollinaire's World War I poem, in the context of that most brutal war (looking ahead to a contrast with the UK WWI poets).
• The Calligrammes make use of 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.
• How is "modernity" reflected in form and content in the poets and what makes them differerent from one another and from the group.
• 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?
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
•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." Compare Apollinaire as WWI poet with the UK poets of the "Great War". Compare Apollinaire's "Le Pont Mirabeau" to Dowson's "Cynarae" — how do these love poems differ from other love poems in the section of earlier love poems you may have read.

For those who know French: try translating a poem.
• Comment on your experiments so far: useful?, and, if so, in what way?


Penn grad student reading at 6pm on Feb. 8
Bill Berkson reads at KWH at 6pm on Feb. 9

4. (Feb. 10, 12) Futurisms|

Futurisms (via Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry Poetics / LION (PEPP))
Futurism by Tyrus Miller (Blackwell Companion)
The best critical account of the futurist and formalist poetry and art around the time of World War I is Marjorie Perloff's The Futurist Moment.

El Lissitzky and Hans Arp, Kunstimen ("Artisms") book cover, 1925.

4A . Futurisms Part One:  Marinetti (via LION) & Italian Futurism

Marinetti (via library e-resources Literary Encyclopedia) & related in PM1: pp. 193-215
starnew tr. of Futurist Manifesto. & my performance of "The Futurist Manifesto" and Loy's "Aphorisms" at MoMA)
Mina Loy, star“Feminist Manifesto,” “Aphorisms on Futurism,” 1914 (pdf/Penn); also pdf/Penn of ms of "Feminist Manifesto)
Respondent: Sean
Images (Penn only: off campus requires you to log in, then refresh): "Parole in Liberta" (1915) also nonrestricted gif, "Vive La France," study/drawing for "Vive La France", " Zang Tumb Tuuum (see Wiki on this work)
Futurist time line the gang
Marinetti PennSound page
MoMA Futurist Manifesto at 100 page.
See photo of Luigi Russolo with noise makers & his noise manifesto
Carlo Carrà,  Interventionist Demonstration(Patriotic Holiday-Freeword Painting)
[Manifestazione interventista (Festa patriottica-dipinto parolibero)], 1914
Marinetti respondent: Otto

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 "; "Futurist Synthesis of War."
Futurism web site
Some more images and words
Futrurism and advertising
Conversation on Futurism -- Claire Bishop & Boris Groys
• 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 Mallarmé and Apollinaire?
• What is the signficance of "noise" in this work, as for instance for Luigi Russolo?
• Once again, this is writing that comes out of the period around World War I. Thoughts?
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
Rewrite one of the manifestos for a contemporary aesthetic position
Burroughs fold-in: Take two different pages of poetry or manifesto and cut the pages in half vertically. Paste the mismatched pages together.

4B. Futurism Part Two: Russian Futurism
reading: PM1: pp. 220-250
Mayakovsky images (Penn only): "A Tragedy" designed by David and Vladimir Burliuk (1914) ; Dliagolosa (For the Voice) (1923); Book.
respondent: Christina
For class: Khlebnikov's star"Incantation by Laughter"(my tr.) and see also alt. translation and Roman Jakobson reading: MP3
plus focus on Kruchenyck/Larionov, starPomade (pdf & with translation and audio —go to "Exlore the Books");
(Furturists other than Mayakovsky)
Respondent: Josh
Mayakovsky, star"Screaming My Head Off" (PM) (and listen to Mayakovsky read this poem, see alt. title "At the Top of My Voice"). Literary Encyl on Mayakovsky.
PennSound Getty Futurist page of sound files..
Extensions (optional):
Russian Futurist manifesto: "A Slap in the Face to Public Taste" (1917)
Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922), starManifestos ("We accuse the older generation ...,: "The Word as Such," "The Letter as Such"; "To "; & at UBU, Klebnikov@RussianPoetry.net
"!Futurian," "Let Them Read on My Gravestone," "On Poetry": pdf
Kruchonyk's 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 Composition,  Linear Composition, "Spatial Force Construction"
Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956), Cigarette ad;
  "Better Pacifiers There Have Never Been"; Mayakovsky ad for cookies; portrait of Mayakovsky
Russian avant-garde books (Getty collection of digized books) and pdfs of book
Kamensky, Tango with Cows (full book, pdf, 1914)
Sound files and scores for Russian futurist sound and poems: Baku: Symphony of Sirens: Sound Experiments in The Russian Avant-Garde
Markov's history of Russian futurism: pdf
Mayakovsky's long poem "About this" (1923) with Rodchenko's illustrations, in Herbert Marshall's English translation preceded by Bength Jangfeldt's essay and Marshall's own intro and endnotes.
• What is your response to these approaches to poetry? In other words, discuss the forms and significance of visual and sound poetry, and of the manifestos.
• Contrast Russian and Italian Futurism. How do the manifestos differ 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. Is zaum "absorptive" or does it resist the reader's absorption?
• 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?
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
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.
For those who know Russian: try translating a poem.


Feb. 16, 6:30pm: Anne Waldman at KWH: must reserve for this: whfellow@writing.upenn.edu

5. (Feb. 17, 19) Dada / Schiwitters

On Feb. 17 we will continue with Mayakovsky, with Christina a respondent. (It all ties together)

(by Anna Barkin at LION from Princeton Enc. P/Poetics]
& Literary Encylopedia (or via e-resc)

The First International Dada Fair at Dr. Otto Burchard’s Berlin art gallery. Schlichter’s pig soldier can be seen hanging from the ceiling, while George Grosz stands at right with hat and cane

Reading: starPM1 pp. 289-309, 746-48
Tristan Tzara (& see Literary Ency and LION) (1896-1963)

Hugo Ball (1886-1927) ; another bio
Photo; another
starKawane: mp3 (performed by Rothenberg) and text; Marie Osmond performance
Dada sound poems on PennSound
Respondent: Christopher

Picabia poems
"Spermal Chimney" tr. Rothenberg
(extensions: Picabia books, Oxford ref.):

Hugo Ball's 1916 "Dada Manifesto"
Tzara, "Dada Manifesto" (1918)
from Tzara, "Dada Manifesto" (1918) and "Lecture on Dada" (1922) :
also "Chanson Dada" in French [extensions: Vingt-Cinq Poems]
Tzara's "Approximate Man" in French.
Raoul Hausmann: "The Art Critic" (click on image to enlarge); "A.B.C.D. Portrait of Artist", " Dada Wins!)" (1920)
Photo of Opening of First International Dada Fair (1920), Photo of Hausmann and
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 Acorns 1933"
Hannah Hoch (1889-1978), "Collage", "Cut with a Kitchen Knife"(detail) full image.
Excellent German lanauge Dada site.
International DaDa e-library
Joris tr. of Tzara, including "Dance of the Greased Women"

• 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 different in poems versus visual art (e.g. Heartfield)?
• 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?
•Steve McCaffery writes, "the condition described accurately corresponds with Ball’s general theories of primordial memory and the complex imbrications of the child and the irrational. Renouncing one type of institutional codification, Ball returns involuntarily to another: the Catholic Church. Ball predicts that in the conditions experienced in the world around him, art 'will be irrational, primitive, and complex; it will speak a secret language and leave behind documents not of edification but of paradox.' " Discuss.
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
Wreading: Tzara's hat: Cut up the poem into individual words (alternative: phrase, line) and put them in a hat. Reassemble

1937: Adolf Hitler in front of Dada Wall at "Entartete Kunst": paintings by Kandinsky, Klee and Schwitters, deliberately hung askew & below the Entarte-frie tsar, Adolf Ziegler's painting, hung in a Hitler residence:

5B — Kurt Schwitters

Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) in PM1, & audio of star"Ur Sonata"

Digital images: "Blue Birds", Type Reklame, page of book collaboration,
"Merzbau" (Hanover, 1924), "Siebildt," "Mertzbild" "Green over Yellow" (1947), "Construction for Nobel Ladies," "Forms in Space"
See also: Schwitters's Anna Blume(reprodiuction of German book); German text of Anna Blume; Gernam recitation of the poem
See also digital version of Schwitter's magzaine Merz
respondent: Christina

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 Dufréne, "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"
Tomomi Adachi
EPC Sound Poetry Index

• Compare Schwitter's, Hugo Ball, and Khlebnikov in terms of poetics and the use of neologisms (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."

6. (Feb. 24, 26) Duchamp and Surrealism

Duchamp: The Bride Stripped Bare by Its Viewers (Maybe)

Pierre Cabanne. Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) [required text available at the Penn Book Center]
Duchamp in PM1
Duchamp collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you haven't seen the Duchamp at PMA, please schedule a visit before this class.
Bottlerack/Dryer/Hedgehog (Penn image)
Disk inscribed with puns & Penn image "Esquivons les ecchymoses des Esquimaux aux mots exquis": Let us avoid the bruises of the Eskimoes in exquisite words
& see this in context in Duchamps film, Anemic Cinema
Fountain; Penn image
Rrose Selavy (Man Ray); wiki
Search Phila. Museum of Art images for Duchamp
Nude Descending a Staircase
Comb: PMA image; compare New Guinea Spirit Figure
"In Advance of a Broken Arm"
"Three Standard Stoppages" & "A Network of Stoppages"  (1913-1914) & discussion
Apollinere Enameled; PMA image (better detail) (1916-1917)
Étant Donnés, interior view (1946-1968)
Thumbnails of art

resondent: Kirsten, Eleanor

Extensions (optional): : interview with Duchamp (may not work) and another interview; Duchamp web site: Tout-fait (may not work); Marchel Duchamp.org
Duchamp at UBU
The Writings of Marcel Duchamp, Da Capo Press.
From Marjorie Peloff's 21st-Century Modernism, Chapter 3: The Conceptual Poetics of Marcel Duchamp [ .pdf | .rtf ]

• In what way might Duchamp's 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 "Étant Donnést"; 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 objects on display at the museum, with special reference to the significance of the writing/inscriptions.
• Perloff writes, "Duchamp’s term for the all but imperceptible difference between two seemingly identical items was, the term infrathin, a term closely linked to what Duchamp also called deferral or delay." Discuss how this relates to Duchamp's work (for example his puns) or more generally to poetry and poetics.
Wreading: Create a poem or collage based on cut-ups and excerpts from the Duchamp Dialogues.

6B. Surrealism(PEPP/LION)
Breton & Eluard, seated
starPM1 338-341, 465-485, 492-95:
André Breton, Philippe Soupault, Robert Desnos
French: "Médaille de sauvetage"
Respondent: Christopher, Josh

Surrealism manifestos [Penn only] & Literary Encyc
André Breton and Leon Trotsky, “Manifesto: Towards a Free Revolutionary Art” (1938)
Max Ernst in PM1(pp. 506-514)
• 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 (focusing on the poems of each movement)?
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
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. 

Further Reading/French Poetry (optional):
Paul Valéry, Alfred Jarry, Max Jacob, & Francis Ponge in PM1. [On Ubu Roi]
Valéry's "The Cemetery by the Sea" (tr. Charles Guenther), tr. by Cecil Day Lewis
Ponge, "L'orange"
André Breton and Phillippe Soupault Les Champs magnétiques (Magnetic Fields), 1920
Georgio De Chirico, Hebdomeros
Guy Debord on Dérive and on Détournement
Society of the Spectacle Knabb tr., Black & Red tr. by Freddy Perlman, (another site for this), Nicholson-Smith // French version // film (in French) English subtitles
Jacques Rouboud and Anne-Marie Albiach in PM2
Albiach, tr. Bernstein
Olivier Cadiot's Red, Green, & Black, tr. Charles Bernstein and Cadiot
The Random House Book of Twentieth Century French Poetry, ed. Paul Auster;
The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry, ed. Mary Ann Caws
N.B. PM-Surrealism

For those who know French: try translating a poem.



March 4, 6pm Sara Dowling at KWH

7 (March 3, 5) Expressionisms (PEPP/Lion def.) (cf: Literary Encl article )

Munch via Literary Encylopedia, "The Scream" (Norway, 1893)

7A: German Expressionism

PM1: pp.263-265
Lasker-Schuller, "To the Barbarian" (p. 270)
Benn & Trakl (pp. 277-285)

Rainer Maria Rilke & intro (LION) (born Prague, 1875-1926) in PM1 (2 selections)

  Rilke, 1904

In class we will focus on Rilke
starDuino Elegy #1; see notes by Bernstein and Perloff (just the beg. of the Perloff essay)
starfrom Book of Hours (c. 1899)
star"Torso of an Archaic Apollo"
Respondent: Sean, Juan-Sebastian
Extensions (optonal):
"Duino Elegies" (bilingual, multiple translations); Rilke in German"Letter to a Young Poet,"Elsa Lasker-Schuller
Benn: "Little Aster" in German; more poems
Benn audio
Some related images: Edvard Munch, "The Scream" (1893), "Anxiety"
Optional: art background: Paul Vogt and Ita Heinze-Greenberg. "Expressionism" (pdf), Oxford Art Online.•
• Pick your favorite and least favorite poems (from the course) since the last time you made such a list. Give reasons for your selection.
• Are these poets -- the ones assigned for this unit -- 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.
For those who know German: try translating a poem.

7B, Part 2:Antonin Artaud, Federico García Lorca

Artaud via LiteraryEnc
____in PM1&2
Artaud sound files at UBU
Exensions: "To Have Done with the Judgement of God"

starLorca in PM1 (note: "Ode for Walt Whitman" in Spanish and Spicer's tr. online; a web selection of Lorca ;"Ode to Walt Whitman" (tr. Bellit, Poetry Fdn)' "Dear Lorca"
Respondent: Eleanor

Lorca on "The Theory and Function of the Duende" (c. 1933)
Lorca tr. by Paul Blackburn (bilingual)
N.B.: PM-Artaud

The Passion of Joan of Ark (Dryer) with Artaud: not this is a silent film; the soundtrack has been added; best to watch without sound!.
• 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?).


March 10, 12: No Class (Spring Break)


March 17 & 19: USSR & UK

8A (March 17). Mother Russia, Father USSR
: Russian Poetry (in/around/after Futurism)

from M. Gor’kii et al, eds, Belomorsko-Baltiiskiii Kanal imeni Stalina ([Moscow]: OGIZ, 1934) [from An Account of the Construction of the New Canal between the White Sea and the Baltic Sea]; photo poss. by Rodchenko. Thanks to Joshua Kotin.

video of Nadezhda Mandelstam talking *in English* about Osip Mandelstam from around 1973: YouTube.

Osip Mandelstam (Gale) & Acmeism (PF intro)
starMandelstam in PM1: pp. 390-397; Four Mandelstam poems (Penn only): English & the poems in Russian;
 2 poems tr. Yankelvitch/High (read note on poems too); the Stalin epigram, (another tr.)
Clarence Brown on this poem via JSTOR)
"Acmeist Manifesto" (JSTOR) (1917) (PEPP & Literary Encl) on Ac
Mandelstam reading "Gypsy Girl": MP3
[Optional reading: "Conversation about Dante"; also: "Octaves," Cigale tr.; Kline]
Poems at PF
Mandelstam audio
Respondent: Juan-Sebastian

Marina Tsvetayeva in Literary Encl  & in PM1
•Anna Akhmatova in PM1; Akmatova audio; Akhmatova@RussianPoetrey.net; "To the Muse" 1924: mp3
•Danill Kharmes & Literary Enc (1905-1942):
Realpoetik, from The Blue Notebook, Alex Cigale's tr., poems, "31 plays," another site
More Kharmes
•Vvedensky, The Gray Notebook.
Kharmes respondent: Otto

EXTENSIONS (optional)
Arkadii Dragomoshchenko in PM2
Jacket2 obit
ATD on PennSound
Dragomoshchenko in 99 Poets/1999
PIP bio and tr. by Genya Turovskaya
"Sentimental Elegy" from Description, tr. Lyn Hejinian and Elena Balashova (Sun & Moon Press,1990)
Hejinian/Dragomoshchenko dialog
via Jacki Ochs's Exchange (Bomb, 1994; JSTOR)
PMC symposium (1993) & AD's "Phosphor"
from Dust and another section at Google preview on Dalkey Archive Press page for book.
on Creeley
99 Poets
selected poems
A fuller context for Dragomoschenko's work would include his fellow Petersburg "metaphysical" poet (as this semi-underground group was called), Alexei Parchikov. In constrast, there were the "Moscow Conceptualists," in particular and Dmitri Prigov and Lev Rubinstein.

Dmitri Prigov
Jacket poems
Edmond on Prigov

Lev Rubinstein (born 1947):
my commentary
Stack version of Rubinstein's cards

Alexei Parschikov (1954-2009)
Arkadii Dragomochenko on Parschikov
"If I'm to Peddle Stories" (Penn only 99 Poets / 1999)
Chamblis-Ostashevsky-tr_2009 (Penn only)
Dalkey Anthology, tr. F.D. Reeve (pp. 180-189)
Platt/Perelman draf tr. (Penn only)

Elena Shvarts (1947-2010, Leningrad/St. Petersburg)
Stephanie Sandler on Shvarts
Guadian obit
from Dalkey Anthology, tr. Margo Shohl Rosen, pp. 35-41
Memorial Candle
Conversation with a Cat
A Child in the Ghetto Surrounded by Letters
Translated by Stephanie Sandler    
Free Ode
A Portrait of the Blockade
Translated by James McGavran

Alexander Skidan (1965- )
The Resistance of/to Poetry (99 Poets / 1999)
from Red Shifting (Ugy Duckling Presse)
Forward interview
Skidan PennSound page, including Close Listening show with him.
"Poetry in the Age of Total Communication" (Nypoesia termp. down; if so try this)

Pasternack reading "Night" MP3

•Do you see a common approach in Mandelstam, Tsvetayeva, and Akhmatova? The work is often thought of in terms of fate or politics, but how about the form? How does this work relate to Russian Futurism and to the French ("Symbolist") poets you've read so far? Does the work relate to Dada, surrealism, or expressionism? Is it more radical or conservative (and what criteria elicit for these characterizations)? Mandelstam addresses this in his Acmeist Manifesto: how do these poems reflect the views in that manifesto or how does he distinguish the work from Symbolism and Futurism? Is it significant that Mandelstam is Jewish?
•Is Kharmes comic, ironic, tragic, mystical?
•Dragomochenko is a contemporary poet, but do you see connections to the earlier Russian poets, for this week or the Futurists? How would you describe his sensibility

•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
Recombine or reorder the lines within a Dragomochenko poem.
Recast one of the modernist Russian poems into something that refers to your own life.

For those who know Russian: try translating a poem.

Thursday, March 19 - 8:00 p.m. CLAUDIA RANKINE Temple University Center City Campus, 1515 Market St., room 22

8B (March 19) Auden, Sitwell, Larkin, Thomas
Auden; Sitwell in PM1
W.H. Auden (poets.org) and PF bio
star"Musee des Beaux Art" & wiki & audio
star"In Memory of W.B. Yeats" & audio
"The Unkown Soldier"
"Stop All Clocks"

resondent for Auden: Kirsten

Philip Larkin
, "This Be the Verse" and "High Windows"

Dylan Thomas,

"Do Not Go Gentle," "Refusal to Mourn": sound files for Penn; or YouTube/Gentle & YouTube/Refusal: See also John Cale's version:

: 1959 interview
Facade: audio (Penn only); from Facade; more libretti
20 Poems: audio for "Still Falls the Rain"




9 (March 24, 26) Our America
José Marti
Introduction by Ernesto Grosman (from 99 Poets/1999)
The Americas -- Wikepdedia; short poet bios
starJosé Marti (Cuba), "Our America"
Rubén Dario (Nicaragua & beyond) (Félix Rubén García Sarmiento, 1867-1916): star"To Roosevelt"; poem in Spanish (PM1) & another tr. ; poems  in Spanish; "Azul"
Respondent; Marissa
starVicente Huidobro (Chile) (wiki bio) (note in two places in PM1):
"Altazor" canto VII (1931)
performed by Jaap Blonk: MP3; performed by Juan Angel Italiano: YouTube; performend by Ch. Bernstein
Spanish: "Ars Poetica," "Altazor"; more here; another :site; ms
"Cow Boy" and it's appearance in French in Tzara's Dada (1918)
César Vallejo (Peru) (PM1), from Triilce  [Trilce in Spanish], [other poems in Spanish] (also see Lit Ency)

Nicolàs Guillén (Cuba) (PM1) (Lit encly bio);
excerpts starThe Daily Daily
poems in Spanish
star"Sensemaya" (tr. Langston Hughes), bilingual pdf; wiki commentary; Silvestre Revueltas 1937 orchestral (wordess) version of the poem via YouTube – Gustavo Dudamel and Leonard Bernstein; see also Sid Robinovitch's choral version with its intense rhythmic chanting on YouTube; in sharp contrast Vivienne Barry's claymation verison with musical setting by Horacio Salinas: Vimeo
Respondent: Juan-Sebastian

Pablo Neruda [Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto] (1904-1973) (Chile) (PM1)
also "Ode with a Lament"; optional: poems in Spanish; "Explaining a Few Things" (bilingual)
Poetry Fdn, Poets.Org
Respondent: Michelle

Maria Sabina (Mexico) (PM1 & PM2); Henry Munn on Sabina
Sabina documentary (with her singing in beg.) & part 2; Rothenberg performs Sabina: MP3, Anne Waldman's "Fast Speaking Woman" based on Sabina: MP3
Smithsonia CD with stream excerpts
Cecilia Vicuna (Chile/US) (PM2)
Jorge Santiago Perednik, "Poetarzan"
Further (optional) reading:
Subcommander Marcos et al, ch. 14, Fourth Declaration Lacandon Jungle, 78ff.
Roberto Tejada, In Relation: The Poetics and Politics of Cuba's Generation-80
Oliverio Girondo
Juan Luis Martinez from "La Nueva Novela", intro
Octovio Paz, poetry fdn
• Discuss Marti's "Our America" in the context of these poems
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 or North American?
• Discuss the use of myths and other "fourth world" features in these poems (e.g. relation to indigenous 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)?
• Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
• Try any of the translation exercises: lexical or homophonic if you don't know Spanish & if you do know Spanish, do a translation.
• 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

April 1, 6pm Tom Devaney and Joseph Massey at KWH
April 2, 6pm Kevin Young reading
at KWH

10 (March 31, April 3): Americas

A Few Brazillian Poets
Language map (numbers are Portuguese spearkers), global languages

Carlos Drummond de Andrade in PM1, "The Dirty Hand" (pp. 657-58)
"In the Middle of the Way"
"In the Kingdom of Poetry" or at PEPC
_____, "The Bomb"
further reading: More Drummond, including "The Dirty Hand" from PM2
Marissa: respondent

Haroldo de Campos in PM2
my intro
star____ "Circuladô de Fulô," with music by Caetano Veloso: MP3 (alt. file in protected folder): YouTube with Veolso and text & Veloso on this song & concrete poetry (NOTE: the format is prose for original and translation). Text of
star______Three concrete poems at UBU
___"Galaxias" & note: full book
respondent: Christina

starDécio Pignatari, Bebe Coca-Cola (1957); more at UBU
respondent: Eleanor

Noigandres (Augusto de Campos, Decio Pignatari and Haroldo de Campos), “Pilot Plan for Concrete Poetry” (1958)

Régis Bonvicino, "Blue Tile", "Prose," PennSound audio #s4 (Talvez), 7 (Me Transformo), 14 (Where), and 16 (Blue).

João Cabral de Melo Neto (1920-1999): Three poems

Paulo Leminksi: untitled poem

Extensions (optional):
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
De Campos: Selection of Poems; Charles Bernstein on de Campos, Roland Greene on de Campos;  Galáxias site. Sound file: Calcas Cor de Abobora
Marjorie Perloff,
"Concrete Prose": Haroldo de Campos's Galáxias and After
Mary Ellen Solt on Brazillian Concrete Poetry
Oswald de Andrade:
my intro
"Manifesto da Poesia Pau-Brazil" (Brazil Wood Manifesto) (1924)
Anthropophagite Manifesto ("Manifesto Antropófago") (1928) anothter tr; also Mary Ann Caws tr.; Leslie Bary's tr with full glosses (JSTOR)
Haroldo de Campos of Anthropophagy: JSTOR
Prescursor: Sousandrade (1832-1902"Wall Street Massacre" with notes by De Campos bros.: JSTOR
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.

10B: Negritude: Senghor, Césaire, Damas

Aimé Césaire
((1913-2008) (bio/interview via Gale)
starSenghor, Césaire, Damas in PM1, pp.559-581, 736, 751, and PM2 p. 73-4
Césaire: Five poems from Soleil cou coupé (1948), "Macumba-Word" (bilingual with glossary; Eng. tr. not very good!)
Damas: SOS, bilingual

Césaire Respondent: Sanna
Extensions (optional): interview; listen to Clayton Eshleman read his Césaire translation; Césaire in French
More Damas in French
• 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 the two.
• Imagine Damas's "SOS" was written but a white women from the midwest. Would that change the meaning of the poem?
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
• 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.

11. (April 7 and 9) Dialects

11A, Part One: MacDiarmid and Bunting

Hugh MacDiarmid
(via Gale) (1892- 1978) & Synthetic Scots
MacDiarmid: info on painting here
MacDiarmid: Selection and note in PM1 and poem in PM2; then go to selected poems for star"Watergaw" listen to audio (Penn ony) or poem/text at Poetry Archive ; then for starDrunk Man Looks at Thistle, follow first 100 lines with audio at PennSound; which also has audio for "British Leftish Poetry 1930-40," star"The Kind of Poetry I Want," and "The Glass of Pure Water" (in PM2).
Full text of MacDiarmid at LION.
Respondent: Sanna

Basil Bunting (via Gale)
Basil Bunting in PM1: starOpening lines of Briggflats & audio; audio at PennSound. (Video starting on l. 118). 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 audio. More audio of Briggflats (Penn only): part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 on PennSound, part 5
with harpsichord, begins 5'20" (from line 53 on part 4 of text)
b/g: Share on Briggflatts
Respondent: Sean

Extensions: MacDiarmid, "Revolutionary Art of the Future";   Bio and additional audio (Penn only); Monty Python: Poet McTeagle
Extensions (optional): Tom Leonard at PennSound: "Unrelated Incidents" "Glasgow Poem," and comment, YouTube with Bill Griffiths
Extensions: David Jones
• Discuss the audio recording: how does it compare to the printed text?
• 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

11B, Part Two Dialectic of Dialect: Jamiaca

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.

Louise Bennett,star"Bans O' Killing" and "Colonization in Reverse";  audio of "Colonization" (extensions: "Dutty Tough" audio). Litalive Bennett page.
Michael Smith (sound files)star"It a Come" and " Mi C-Yaan Believe It": text (short bio).
(Extensions/optional: Linton Kwesi Johnson: Sonny's Lettah (text) & Fite Dem Back (text)
Steve McCaffery, star"The Kommunist Manifesto or Wot We Wukkers Want": mp3 & text. This is a translation into Yorkshire dialect of Marx & Engels' Communist Manifesto
Respondent: Josh
• Discuss the formal, stylistic, sonic, prosodic, ideological, nationalistic, and political implications of these works.
• (Bennett:) Is humor an appropriate ingredient for serious poetry? Some might say that Bennett is a popular performer not a significant poet. Does it make sense to include her on this syllabus, along with another Caribeean poet of polymathic range such as Césaire?
• 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.
Further readings/listenings: Kamu Brathwaite

12.(April 14, 16)

12A, Part One: Exile: Turning without Return

Paul Celan (
& Gale bio):
PM2 (three entries)
star"Todesfuge" audio (and other poems); Rothenberg tr.  &  (commentary); wiki
Joris's Celan selection
Sprachglitter (optional: commentary)
Unrestricted source for Celan sound files and poems: easier to use!
Charles Bernstein, "Celan's Folds and Veils" (from Textual Practice 18:2, 2004) on "Todtnauberg"

EXTENSIONS (optional):
Jabès, Adonis, Darwish, in PM2 Adonis & Darwish in 99 Poets Abdelwahab Meddeb in 99 Poets

Celan Extensions (optional):
pdf: "The Meridian" (1960), "Conversation in the Mountains" (1959), Breman prize speech (1958), tr. R. Waldrop; (note the book) (supplemental: outakes from the speech) & excerpts from the drafts.
Joris on Celan; Joirs interview on Celan
Joris on Celan (YouTube of Harvard lecture)
Joris on "Todtnauberg" (essay)
Extensions/futher reading (optional): Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, from Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature (pdf)
• 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
•Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
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 sentence.

12B. Part Two: Identities: Case Studies
No class meeting. Virtual discussion.

Samuel Beckett
in Literary Encl
star"Imagination, Dead, Imagine" (Penn only) or public site
audio of Beckett reading from Watt (1965)

Monique Wittig,
Wittig ("Le Corps Lesbien") in French original

Dubravka Djuric, "Post-Communist Poetry" from 99 Poets/1999
___, "Disordering" & other poems (translationa follows original)

Nicole Brossard
"The Throat of Lee Miller," from Museum of Bone and Water
>her reading of the poem at PennSound: "Le Cou de Lee Miller" (3:31): MP3
Brossard in PM2 (note volume 2!!)
"Poetic Politics" (Gale) in The Politics of Poetic Form
Brossard in 99 Poets
How(2) Brossard interview
Extentions (optional):
Janice Williamson interview of Brossard: Gale
Brossard at PennSound

Fred Wah
Pictograms from the Interior of BC (start with opening 20 pages, read on as possible)
Wah Close Listening interview MP3 -- on his PennSound page (and optional listen to more there)

• 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

Here is Wikipedia's definition of ekphrasis: "Ekphrasis or ecphrasis is the graphic, often dramatic description of a visual work of art. In ancient times it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis, 'out' and 'speak' respectively, verb ekphrazein, to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name." To some extent, both Wah's and Brossard's poems are ekphrastic. Think about their versions of ekphrasis and compose an ekphrastic poem. Choose one part of the definition, and exaggerate it in your experiment. Try to make it so extreme that anyone could guess which part you've chosen.
Here are some questions on each:
- Who is Lee Miller? How does knowing about her, or knowing what she looked like change your interpretation of the poem?
- Describe the form of this poem. What is the most important formal "unit" in it? The line? The page? Something else?
- Related question: describe the use of repetition in this poem. How do the repeated items develop and change as the poem progresses?
- Describe the relationship between the images and the text. Who is/are the speaker/s? - What kind of tone do these poems have? What other texts would you compare them to? What cultural or literary sources do you think this language comes from?
- Read this short blog post by the poet Gary Barwin and respond: Barwin suggests "a new 'translation' of Wah's book in light of the new understanding, the changed relationship with Native history," the possibility that "a Native writer will write a book 'transcreating' images from non-Native imagery" or "non-First Nations' writers ... rewrit[ing] the book using non-First Nations pictograms." What do you think?

All material for this class should be handed in by the Sunday following the last class. 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

John Yau April 12 at 7pm KWH

13A. (April 21)
Chinese Poetry

2008 Visit of Li Zhimin
PennSound page
Li Zhimin -- KWH lecture on Chinese & Western poetry, published in Internationa; Literary Quarterly, 2010.
starMao Zedong (1893-1976),  selected poems; notes; collected poems
Xu Zhimo (1897-1931), Ji Xian (b. 1913), Gu Cheng (b. 1956): pdf from Michelle Yeh anthology.
"Mity Poets" PM2  pp. 752-769, esp:
star     Bei Dao (b. 1949), "The Answer" and  Bei Dao in Jacket;
     Haun Saussy
on Bei Dao's "Huida/The Answer" and Tiananmen Square
     Mang Ke "Apeherd" (PM2)
     Gu Cheng (in Yeh pdf above)
      Shu Ting in PM2 and also her work in the Michelle Yeh anthology: pdf here
Language/Original poets:
      Yunte Huang, Intro;
       Original Manifesto;
       Huang Fan (b. 1963), "Poetry's New Shore,"
       Che Qianzi (b. 1963), "Flower of Two Persons" (1990);
       Yi Cun (b. 1954), "A Poet's Remark on a White Bird in Winter"
Yunte Hunag, from SHI
Ma Lan, selection
starXu Bing: "Art for the People" (
flag reads as English) & "New English Caligraphy" & images (Square word calligraphy), "Your Surname Please"
Xi Chuan and here
Yao Feng
Li Zhimin -- a selection and in Chinese
Chinese + American poets reading at St. John's Cathedral in NY, 2015, for Xu Bing's "Phoemix" and with Bei Dao.

Mao Respondent: Sanna
Mao is considered one of modern China's greatest poets: how is his role as a major (and, to put it mildly, troubling) political leader and revolutionary reflected in his poetry? What role does poetry play in his political leadership? Is there a conflict between being a lyric poet and Mao's political ideology and actions.
• Discuss Huang's approach to translation, taking up our discussion of translation in the second class.
• Compare the "Misty," "Language/Original Poets," and Li Zhimin. Do a close reading of a poem from each group, perhaps using the poem profiler. Discuss the politics of poetic form in the poems (how the chosen forms reflect political or social perspectives).
• Li Zhimin will be talking about the influence of Western poetry on modern Chinese poetry. One example (somewhat negative in his view) is Xu Zhimo's idealization of Cambridge Uniiveristy, But the influence is reflected in the selection of contemporary poets. What qualities in these poems reflect a distinctly Western and also a distinctly non-Western approach to poetry?
Write imitations of a couple of the poems in this week's reading. In other words, change the subject or place but write a poem in a manner as close to the "original" as possible.
For those of you who know any Chinese at all: do new translations of the poems for which the Chinese is provided
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. If you were to change any part of the syllabus, what would you change? 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?

13B (April 23) Concrete and Visual Poetry

PM2: pp.304-316
Concrete and Visual Poetry selection
Williams Concrete Poetry anthology
Tom Phillips (PM2); see also Tom Phillips, Humument home page:
Browse; pick and comment on your favorites

Emil Bønnelycke (Danish, 1893 -1953)

April 27, 6:30pm: Jessica Haggedorn at KWH: must reserve for this.

LAST CLASS (April 28)
Cayley and Rosenberg in PM2
Rosenberg in Poetry after 1975 / boundary 2
Digital library: Browse through the list,
but start with
Andrews's "On Lionel Kearns" (try dfiferent browser if this does not run).
Stefans's "Dreamlife," and "I Know Man"
Chang's "Dakota"
bp Nichols' early computer poems
and then Glazier's "Territorio Libre"
See also: Christian Bok, Xenotext

• What are the distinctive features of this work
• Compose one question for the seminar, based on the reading.
Wreading: Make your own digital poems or create a blueprint/plan for a digital poem you would like to make

As a final optional submission, please give your response to the course, which exercises and questions you found most helpful, what was your reaction to posting all your work to the list? What about the amount of reading required for each class? Enough? Too Much? What did you like least about the course, what most (what would you like more of, or less of)? Thinking back on all the poets, list your overall favorites and state your reason for your preference.

please try to have all work completed by the last class or email me for extension.

Bonus Track One:
Fernando Pessoa
: "Autopsicografia"

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


Four: Vienna Group
PM2. pp/ 115-126
Jandl, "Scenes from Real Life"
Jandl at Ubu
Jandl's "schtzngrmm" (sound poem)
poems/audio at lyrikline

Bonus Track Five: Caribbean Poetry
Kamau Brathwaite
Derek Walcott
Louise Bennett
Claude McKay
Michael Smith
Eduardo Glissant
Malcolm de Chazal
Linton Kwezi Johnson

Bonus Track Six: Brecht & Weil


New Zealand/Australia

Alan Curnow
Wystan Curnow
Michelle  Leggott
Ern Malley and Angry Penguins (& wiki): the complete poems
John Tranter
John Kinsella
Alan Loney
Javant Biarujia: Tenaraic; interview 


Lehto visit (Finland)
many of these links are now broken; a searc should work
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
Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, "The importance of destroying a language (of one’s own)"
Lehto, "Plurifying the Language of the Trite"
SEE OCT. Update in English 262 for Hallberg/Gasselewski visit.
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)._______________________________________

Contemporary French Poety
Claude Royet Journod

Key E-Resouces:
Gale Literature Resource Center  
Literary Encyclopedia
Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
Twentieth-Century American Poetry
"Further Reading" on poetics for "The Practice of Poetics"