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The Pitch of Poetry

ENGL 589.401
crosslisted as: COML 577
instructor(s):
Mondays 7-10:00 pm
fulfills requirements:

 Thinking in/around how a series of poets’ pitches – trajectories and calibrations – underwrites not just poems but possibilities for poetry. While the syllabus is still in progress (and subject to change and suggestion by participants), perhaps to start with Blake's illumnated Songs of Innocence & Experience, and move instanter on to –– on the one hand, Poe’s “The Poetic Principle” and several of his poems, works of Dickinson, Emerson’s “The Poet” and other essays, and Whitman’s “Respondez” –– and, on the other hand, Mallarmé’s Coup de dés and few poems of Baudelaire (and possibly considering Baudelaire’s and Mallarmé’s tr. of Poe). Seminar sessions will likely focus on sincerity and objectification with special reference to Charles Reznikoff, Laura Riding and her renunciation of poetry, John Ashbery’s “The Skaters” using the new Skaters website (with ms and digital tools), the poetics of Robert Creeley, Susan Stewart’s Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, the work of Leslie Scalapino, and also a session in/around PennSound (new approaches to working with sound files of poetry readings).There may be a philosophical interlude on/with Walter Benjamin. Plus seminar visits: Al Filreis on "first reading" situations (what might be called "the spontaneous attack of the difficult poems"), Bruce Andrews on L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E and after, and Pierre Joris on Paul Celan. More/updates information: http://writing.upenn.edu/bernstein/syllabi/pitch.html