EppsNet Archive: Al Filreis

Coursera Recommendations

Coursera‘s been around long enough now that some classes are being offered for a second time, including a couple that I’ve taken and recommend: Modern & Contemporary American Poetry, taught by Al Filreis at Penn Social Network Analysis, taught by Lada Adamic at the University of Michigan Read more →

Language Poetry and Aleatory Poetry

The last couple of weeks in ModPo, we’ve been reading “Language Poetry” and aleatory poetry, including the work of Ron Silliman, Lyn Hejinian, Bob Perelman, Charles Bernstein, Jackson Mac Low, Jena Osman and Joan Retallack. I have to admit it all seemed lazy to me. The reader has to do all the work. (See below for a differing opinion.) I didn’t like any of the poems enough to share one, so here instead are the lyrics to Randy Newman‘s “Marie”: You looked like a princess the night we met With your hair piled up high I will never forget I’m drunk right now baby But I’ve got to be Or I never could tell you What you meant to me I loved you the first time I saw you And I always will love you Marie I loved you the first time I saw you And I always will love… Read more →

Favorite Poem of the Week

My favorite poem of the week — again from Modern & Contemporary American Poetry — was “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” by Bernadette Mayer, especially the final image of the stressed-out new mother reading The Wild Boy of Aveyron, about a feral child raised by wolves. Read more →

Poems I’ve Read Recently and Liked

I’ve been reading a lot of poetry as part of the Modern & Contemporary American Poetry class on Coursera. One of the things I like about the class is that the video lessons are done a little differently than other Coursera classes I’ve taken. Rather than recorded lectures, the videos consist of the instructor, Al Filreis, leading a small group of Penn students in close readings of selected poems. Anyway, here are a few of my favorites so far: I dwell in Possibility by Emily Dickinson Tell all the Truth but tell it slant by Emily Dickinson The Brain within its Groove by Emily Dickinson Danse Russe by William Carlos Williams This Is Just To Say by Willim Carlos Williams A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsburg Lines for an Abortionist’s Office by Ruth Lechlitner Incident by Countee Cullen These next two, both by Richard Wilbur, I want to single out as being particularly… Read more →