Temple-Penn Poetics
Temple: English 8904
Penn: English 589 /Comp Lit 577
Rachel Blau DuPlessis & Charles Bernstein

The Major and the Minor
Keynotes of 20th and 21st Century Poetry

Fall 2007
Tuesdays: 6:30-9:30
Penn: Fisher-Bennett Hall Room 222

Course introduction here

list archive
posts to poetics@mailman.ssc.upenn.edu

Course Requirements: Weekly postings to the class list, responding to the week's reading. Leading one week's discussion as a respondent. A final paper or project is due at the end of the semester.

Temple Week 1 (August 28). Temple Alone (not required for Penn students)
Penn students welcome! Temple classes start a week ahead of Penn's.
Site: TUCC 604..
A brief survey of “schools” of contemporary American poetry with characteristics of each. A map of the world this course will generally inhabit. No student reading beforehand necessary; Xeroxes will be provided.

Temple Week 2/ Penn Week 1 (September 4):. Introduction
Penn students are asked to come to this class, even though it is on the eve of the official semester start; in this way we can balance the Penn and Temple schedules. Note also that our total number of meetings, including this one, will be 13.
Site: Fisher-Bennett Hall Room 222; all subsequent classes will be at Penn
General introductory discussion on assumptions about the minor and major, in terms  of poems but also a poetic career. What is major; what is minor? What is the canon? The university and undergraduate training as support institutions for poetic dissemination/  reception. What other forces, issues, materials help to create major/minor divisions and thinking. How do these institutions work to accomplish this task?
Suggested reading (optional)::
John Guillory, Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation. 1993
Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, in re: subaltern: both other and under (dominated by the “hegemonic”): groups that do not have a consciousness of their own possible power and so remain voiceless and without agency.

Temple Week 3/ Penn Week 2. (Sept. 11): Manifesto!
Site: Fisher-Bennett Hall Room 222; all subsequent classes will be at Penn
Manifesto—essays in poetics, public announcements of purpose as acts of "majorifying" or "minoritizing." Positions taken. Gender, other social locations and social anxieties visible in the manifesto text. Role of manifestos. What is learned from them.
Reqiuired Reading :
•F.T. Marinetti. Three manifestos:: Futurist Manifesto (1909), "Destruction of Syntax/Words in Freedom", "War, the World Only Hygiene"
•Ezra Pound, “A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste” (1913)
Respondent: Emily Skaja
•Mina Loy, “Feminist Manifesto,” “Aphorisms on Futurism,” 1914 (pdf/Penn); also pdf/Penn of ms of "Feminist Manifesto).
Further reading on  Loy (optional): Wolkowski's Loy page. & Daughters of Dada show page
•André Breton: Surrealist Manifesto (English), French
•from Blast #1 June 20, 1914 (pdfs):
   1) "Long Live the Vortex!" (2 pp. n.p.)
   2) "Manifesto". (pp. 9-43)
   3) "To Suffragettes, A Word of Advice." (pp 151-152)
Resondent: Michelle Strizever
Recommended readings (optional)
•Peter Nicholls, Modernisms: A Literary Guide. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. From “Chapter 5: A Metaphysics of Modernity: Marinetti and Italian Futurism”: 84-92.
•Martin Puchner. Poetry of the Revolution. Marx, Manifestos, and the Avant-Gardes. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.” Introduction,” and “Chapter 7: The Rear Guard of British Modernism.” PDF
Further Readings:
•Pound, Vorticist Manifesto, in Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir (1916), Chapter XI. New York: New Directions, 1970: 81-94.
Respondent: Lia McCoskey
•Marjorie Perloff, The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant-Guerre, and the Language of Rupture. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986. “Chapter 3: Violence and Precision: The Manifesto as Art Form”: 80-115.
•Janet Lyon, Manifestoes: Provocations of the Modern. Ithaca: Cornell U.P., 1999. “Chapter 4: Modernists and Gatekeeping Manifestoes: Pound, Loy, and Modern Sanctions”: 124-167.
•Mary Ann Caws, Manifestos: A Century of Isms.
See also DuPlessis's discussion of Loy in in Gender, Races, and Religious Cultures in Modern American Poetry
See also: «Rett Kopi documents the future» —. a new Norwegian publication on the manifesto
Historical contexts
Paul Fussel, Great War and Modern Memory
Peter Bürger, Theory of the Avant-Garde

Sept. 13 6pm
Bernadette Mayer and Lee Ann Brown
read at KWH
Kelly Writers House (Penn)

Temple Week 4/ Penn Week 3 (Sept 18):
"How strange the change from major to minor”

Why be a great composer with your rent in arrears,
Why be a major poet and you'll owe it for years?
When crowds'll pay to giggle if you wiggle your ears?
Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown.
—Cole Porter

•Charles Baudelaire, two short poems: “Muse Venale ”(1857) & “À une Mendiante Rousse" (1845-6) (see also "La petite mendiante rousse" by Emile Deroy)
•William Carlos Williams, "The Young Housewife", "Pastoral", "Between Walls", "This Is Just to Say" (cf,  WCW audio on PennSound)
•Cole Porter (1891-1964), "You're the Top" (go to p. 169 or search) & "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" (go to p. 362 or seach)
(lyrics in word file)
•Giles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, from Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature (pdf)
•Peter Nicholls, Modernisms: Introduction and Chapter 1. (Note: Nicholls discusses "À une Mendiante Rousse" in the introduction.). Also recommended (optional): Nicholls's chapters 2 & 3.
•Michel de Certeau, Arts de Faire (The Practice of Everday Life):
        General Introduction (via UBU): note esp. distinction between strategy  and tactics; on this see also the Wikepedia entry
        Part One (pdf/Penn only): see esp. pp..24-32 on “la perruque” (the wig)       
•Audio (PennKey reqiured):Porter sings "You're the Top" (1934) ; Merman version; "Ev'ry Time": Nina Simone
•Geoff O'Brien-Bernstein interview on LOA (from boundary 2)
respondents: Lucia Martinez, Nobu
Recommended (optional):
•T.S. Eliot:
    Is Blake minor?: see essay  in The Sacred Wood
    Cp. Eliot on  Swinburne
    & Eliot on Stein (Nation and Athenaeum, Jan. 29, 1927, p. 595)
•Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire: Lyric Poet in the Age of High Capitalism
•The Everyday Life Reader, ed. Ben Highmore (Routledge)
Naomi Schor, Reading in Detail
•Notes on "What is a Minor Literature?"
•Virtual Cole Porter:"
 PoemTalk: Al Filreis leads a discussion of "Between Walls"

N.B. The Major and the Minor (1942), directed by Billy Wilder, with Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland was remade as You're Never Too Young (1955) with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
N.B.2: Walt Whitman's "Respondez!" (a.k.a. "Reversals") speaks to the issue of transvaluation.("Respondez" is available via LION.).

Further reading of the Critique of Everyday Life:
Bernstein, from "The Practice of the Ordinary"
Philippe Aries, et al, A History of Private Life
Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space
Ferdinand Braudel, The Structures of Everyday Life
Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power
Stanley Cavell, In Search of the Ordinary
Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle
Sigmund Freud, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
Erving Goffman, Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience
Agnes Helller, Everyday Life
Henri Lefebvre, Critique of Everyday Life
Jean-Luc Nancy, The Inoperative Community
E. P. Thompson, The Long Revolution,
Raymond Williams, Culture and Society
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
Frederic Jamesson, The Prison House of Language
Perry Anderson, Concerning Western Marxism


Sept. 20 6pm

Note also: Sept. 26, 6pm
Tom Davaney book realease party at KWH

Temple Week 5/ Penn Week 4 (Sept. 25)
H.D.: "Female=minor. What’s yer problem?”
Tracking one female reputation thru the past decades.
•H.D., Trilogy (written. 1942-44)
•Susan Friedman, “Who Buried H.D.: A Poet, Her Critics and Her Place in ‘The Literary Tradition.’” College English 36 (March 1975): 801-14. Note the date (1975). Access via library e-resources, JSTOR.
•Adelaide Morris, How to Live / What to Do: H.D.'s Cultural Poetics (University of Illinois Press, 2003): pdf
respondents: Katie Price, Sarah Gardam, Yumeko Kawano, Heather Gorn
•Further (optional) critical readings
H.D. Resources
H.D. web page.
H.D. at PennSound
Rachel DuPlessis, from H.D.: The Career of that Struggle (Indiana University Press, 1986)
Susan Stanford Friedman, Psyche Reborn: The Emergence of H.D. (University of Indiana Press, 1987)
DuPlessis and Friedman, eds., Signets: Reading H.D. (University of Wisconsin, 1991)
Recommended Further Reading:
Elizabeth Willis, "A Public History of the Dividing Line: H.D., the Bomb, and the Roots of the Postmodern"
Walter Benjamin: "On the Concept of History": Lloyd Spencer translation & commentary,   Dennis Redmond translationThesis IX, tr. Harry Zohn and Richard Sieburth, with Klee "New Angel" image. See esp. Thesis 3 -- on major and minor.
two NY Times '80s reviews (excerpts)

Temple Week 6/ Penn Week 5 (Oct. 2)
New American Poetry and the ordinary

(Group-formation-movement-coterie (these being between the public and the private) (Creating majority together)
Barbara Guest at EPC and PennSound:
"Mysteriously Defining the Mysterious: Byzantine Proposals of Poetry" from HOW(ever)
"Wild Gardens Overlooked by Night Lights" (from Fair Realism)
"An Emphasis Fall on Reality" (from Fair Realism)
Respondent: Duncan Regan
James Schuyler & at PennSound: The EPC selection is a good but start with "January" (and see Gizzi commentary) and "Empathy and the New Year"
Larry Eigner & at PennSoound:: start with the PennSound poem, then "Approaching things": page one, then hit "next page"
Robert Creeley: Poetry Fdn selection; more poems & PennSound
O'Hara, "Personism: A Manifesto"
Further Reading
Lytle Shaw, Frank O'Hara: The Poetics of Coterie
Respondent: Matt Hubbell
Marjorie Perloff, "Whose New American Poetrry: Anthologizing in the Nineties"
Andew Epstein, Beautiful Enemies: Friendship and Postwar American Poetry [O'Hara, Baraka, Ashbery
Michael Magee: Emancipating Pragmatism: Emerson, Jazz, and Experimental Writing
Alan Golding, From Outlaw to Classic: Canons in American Poetry
Jed Rasula, The American Poetry Wax Museum: Reality Effects, 1940-1990
responses: excerpts for discussion

Thurs., Oct 4th 8pm
reads at Temple
(TUCC, Room 222)

Temple Week 7/ Penn Week 6. (Oct 9): Charles Olson.
Why is Olson considered major (if he is considered at all)?
Charles Olson, The Maximus Poems
from Book I: “I, Maximus” (pp. 5-8), “Letter, May 2, 1959” (150-156)
       from Book II: “Maximus, from Dogtown-I” (172-176)
       from Book III: “I have been an ability—a machine…” (495-499), “I’m going to hate to leave this earthly Paradise.” (593-96)
       from Collected Poems: “In Cold Hell, in Thicket” (155-60), “Letter for Melville 1951” (233-241), “A Newly Discovered ‘Homeric’ Hymn” (363), “The Lordly and Isolate Satyrs” (384-387), “I, Mencius, Pupil of the Master” (318-320), “from The Song of Ullikummi” (600-02)
**PDFs of these poems (Penn only)**
      " Projective Verse
       Olson at PennSound, esp:
SF 1957: . I, Maximus of Gloucester, to You (4:01)
Vancouver, 1963: Maximus, to Himself ("I have had to learn the simplest things / last ..." (2:26); Kingfishers  (6:31) ; also In Cold Hell, In Thicket (8:38)
Bernstein, “Introjective Verse” (note also earlier essay on Olson, "Undone Business" in Content's Dream)
DuPlessis, “Manhood and its Poetic Projects: The construction of masculinity in the counter-cultural poetry of the U.S. 1950s.” [on Ginsberg, Olson, Creeley] from Jacket 31.
Respondent: Cindy Padera, Adam Fieled
Further Listening/Reading:
Olson talking at Goddard College, April 12-14, 1962: pt one // pt two
& Kyle Schlesinger's transcript:
Olson 1960 Paris Review interview
Anne Waldman, Feminafesto: Olson
Ben Friedlander on Olson, now.
Pierre Joris, Where Is Olson Now?
Other documents at Olson Now blog & link to documents pageS
Note: full length Olson studies by Robert von Hallberg, Sherman Paul, Don Byrd, and Charles Stein & the Olson Collected Prose edited by Don Allen and Ben Friedlander.

Weds., Oct. 10, 7:30pm Rachel Back, KWH
Bob Cobbing celebration
Weds. Oct. 10
Rosenwald Gallery, 6th floor, Van-Pelt Dietrich Library CenterExhibition reception for "Make Perhaps This Out of Sense You Can"
Thurs,, Oct. 11
cris cheek &

at KWH


October 16
Penn October Break: NO CLASS
Temple students will have conferences on their writing rather than class; schedule to be announced.

Thurs. Oct. 18 7pm
Janet Neigh and Johanna Fuhrman


Temple Week 8/ Penn Week 7 (Oct. 23)
African-American poetry cluster
: “Race,” genres, and canonicity . . .

Bernstein, "The Poetics of the Americas" from My Way: earlier version available from Project Muse (search: Bernstein, "Poetics of the Americas"; Modernism/Modernity 3.3 (1996) 1-23.
DuPlessis, from Gender, Races, and Religious Cultures in Modern American Poetry: PDF (Penn only)

Respondents: David Gardner

Oct. 25 8pm
reads at Temple
(TUCC, room 222)

Temple Week 9/ Penn Week 8 (October 30):
Politics, the occasional poem, and poetry:
Group formation, “Objectivists” and the stakes in poetic and political communities, with Special Reference to George Oppen.

George Oppen --
       “Of Being Numerous.”
        Other poems from the Selected Poems (whatever strikes you).
        RBD suggestions, “From Disaster,” “Blood from the Stone,” “Myself I sing,” “The Crowded Countries of the Bomb,” “Philai to Kou Philai,” “Psalm,” all of the selections from Seascape: Needle’s Eye (pp.121-143), “Myth of the Blaze,” “The Little Pin: Fragment,” “Disasters” (the one from Primitive).
         Oppen reading “Of Being Numerous” via PENNsound.Oppen page.
See also Oppen EPC page.
Note: Oppen collected searchable on Google books.
Respondents: Joseph Yearous-Algozin

Temple Week 10/ Penn Week 9 (Nov. 6): Zukofsky
Louis Zukofsky, Selected Poems
Discussion will focus on (CB's selection):
"Poem Beginning 'The"; audio (Penn only)
"Anew" 20 & 21
"Songs of Degrees" & audio (Penn only) of "Songs of Degrees" (audio also includes "Barely & Widely")
"A-9"; audio (Penn only)
A Foin Lass Bodders Me”: compare Pound's translation of the same poem.from 1928
& from 1934. Note: this comes from a study of "A"-9,

Respondent:: Jeremiah Bowen
Further Reading: (optional)
See EPC LZ page
LZ cluster, Jacket
Bob Perelman on LZ Selected

Temple Week 11/ Penn Week 10 (Nov 13): Leslie Scalapino.
Class will meet at Kelly Writers House
Leslie Scalapino, Day Ocean State of Stars’ Night: Poems and Writings, 1989 & 1999-2006
Scalapino will give a public reading a 6:30pm and answer some questions. After a break, we will meet with her privately till 9:30pm.
The EPC page & PennSound page have much supplemental material, including, on PennSound, LINEbreak interview & reading from Day Ocean.
Respondent: Scott McCellan

Temple Week 12/ Penn Week 11 (Nov. 20):
Minor genres, minor modes?: “Littleness.”
The trivial, minoritizing rhetorics, and affiliative ambiguity
with special reference to Lorine Neidecker

Lorine Niedecker Collected Works
for class discussion see esp: : New Goose, “New Goose” Manuscript, For Paul and Other Poems, “My Life by Water,” “Wintergreen Ridge,” “Paean to Place.”
RBD, LN essay in Blue Studios
Respondent: Jason Zuzga
Further Listening
November 1970 reading (mp3)

Thanksgiving is Nov. 22.

Temple Week 13 / Penn Week 12 (Nov 27)
Minor genres, minor modes?
The Trivial and the ordinary, with special reference to Hannah Weiner

Hannah Weiner, Hannah Weiner’s Open House
Start HW readings with Clairvoyant Journal; fill text on line at HW EPC page and also listening to the March or April audio recording on the HW PennSound page
RBD recommends from Open House: :"Radcliffe and Guatemalan Women"; "Mostly About the Sentence"; "Written In"; "If Workshop" and possibly The Code Poems
Resondent: Jonathan Fedors
Recommended reading (optional)
Patrick Durgin, Psycho-Social Disability and Post-Ableist Poetics: The “Case” of Hannah Weiner’s Clairvoyant Journals
Further reading: see the extensive material available at HW EPC page

Temple Week 14/ Penn Week 13( Dec. 4): Last Seminar
Final projects/ reports

Each seminar participant will give a very short presentations about their final projects. All participants are asked to post these final projects/papers to the listserve (though this is optional).

Note for Temple Students:
Final Projects due Saturday Dec. 1

On Dec. 6, RBD flies to San Diego, and thereupon to Australia. Temple students must have all work for this course completed by Saturday, Dec. 1. No exceptions.
Note for Penn Students:
Final projects due by Dec. 23. Send by email as attachment or as web link. Do not leave anything course-related in Penn mail box.