No-Comfort Zone Week Ending Sept. 23 2012

This week, I have continued with the Modern and Contemporary American Poetry course on Coursera, learning how to participate in a class that is bigger than my small town, at least population-wise. Al Filreisis the professor, and I send my thanks to him and to his great teaching assistants over at Kelly Writers House (and what a nice house that is!)

Kelly Writers House at the University of Penns...

Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve made another small breakthrough I think. Instead of worrying about the first assignment and fretting

that it is not “perfect”, I decided that to keep sane and up-to -date (well, almost!) I would need to let it be, and hand in well before the deadline.Starting tomorrow, we have to review our fellow students’ work.  Each of us has to do at least four. It will be interesting to see the different interpretations of Dickinson’s “I taste a liquor never brewed“.

Emily Dickinson

English: Passport photograph of American poet ...

This week, we’ve tackled Allan Ginsberg, William Carlos Williams, Lorine Niedecker, Cid Corman and Rae Armantrout. Some of the poets I’ve never heard of before, so that is quite fun. For the coming week, looks like we are heavily into WCW, including Red Wheelbarrow

Little Red WheelbarrowChicken Coop

and This Is Just to Say

… I once took a silly Facebook quiz: What Poem Would You Be? and that poem is the one that is apparently me. Or I am it…

Plums in basket

Plums in basket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8 thoughts on “No-Comfort Zone Week Ending Sept. 23 2012

    • Angela, not to worry, I don’t think there is a pass or fail. And I expect a number of people will have very different takes on the assignment. On to the next week, and I am not ready!

  1. Hi Carol, I’m enjoying this course SO MUCH! I haven’t read a lot of the poets we’re studying, although I’ve heard of some of them, so I thrill to the joys of being educated at a time of my life when I’m extremely open to learning! I’ve made a decision NOT to submit the assignments – I tried with the first but, even at only 500 words, I found it took up too much time and meant that I fell behind with the Week 2 readings. I will endeavour to comment on some of the submitted essays, however, to assist the Uni in achieving their target of all the essays being assessed. Great to make contact with you!

    • Nice to meet you Josephine! I did the assignment, although not my best ever attempt at one. I may end up later on leaving them off my checklist! I didn’t finish the videos for week 2, and already should be starting the week 3 work. I see some people already were into it almost a week ago. I may spend less time on each thread of the discussions this week. We have twice as many poems to do I think!

  2. It has been an interesting week at ModPo. Like Josephine above I’m withholding my essay submissions going forward, even though I did submit one this week. The peer reviews were only helpful in telling me what I already knew once the “grading” criteria was released.

    Since I’m taking this course as a means to improve (add depth) to my own poetry and to understand how movements are derived, I find it less important to demonstrate to others what I think I understand and more important to listen. Having the freedom to flex my classroom interaction in this way is definitely one of the benefits of the massively open forum. Maybe if the course is presented next year I could take it again with more emphasis on demonstrating my understanding, but I don’t think I’m at that level right now.

    • I may make that choice myself. I am not set on having a certificate. I signed up for what I could learn. The guideline said 4 to 6 hours a week. I’ve spent more than that a day, so every few days I take a break but then have to catch up again. There are too many threads and forums. I think I will try to narrow down to the required work, the videos and perhaps a couple of discussions per forum. If I have time.

      Nice to meet you!

      • Nice to meet you as well! There is another series of Modern Poetry lectures online that I’ve been working through slowly that might be of interest to you. They were also part of an open class, but offered by Yale. The class is closed, but the lecture series is still online. I’ve enjoyed watching these because there is no pace requirement and because they delve more into the life of the selected modern poets, which gives me a greater understanding of the “how” of their work as it pertains to cultural and societal influence. If your interested in lecture based learning simply search Yale Open Courses Modern Poetry.

      • I’ll take a look. I came across some others awhile back when I searched on free online poetry courses, including some from MIT, not sure if Yale was among them. But I will definitely check it out. Thanks!

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