WHAT WE’LL COVER
Since its invention, the printing press has been a co-creator of poetic form.
Though often regarded as a passive conveyor of poetic meaning, its conventions
and possibilities have from the beginning influenced the very creation of
poetic meaning. One obvious example is the development of heavily enjambed
blank verse, such as that of John Milton. Milton, you may recall, was once
accused of writing poetry that was verse only to the eye. This week we'll
focus on the explosion of typographical experimentation that followed the
invention of moveable type, daily newspapers, and the personal typewriter.
Our texts will range from the merely arranged (e.g. Williams, Moore) to the
visually composed (e.g. Mallarmé, Futurists, Loy's manifesto, Blast!)
and will span from the beginning of Modernism to the mid-20th century.
Loy: MODERN from 269
Williams: MODERN from 283, esp. the poems in triadic stanzas, beginning
Moore's poems in syllabic stanzas: MODERN pp 433-440, 448-455
Cummings: MODERN from 545
Niedecker: MODERN from 716
Zukofsky: MODERN from 733
Oppen: MODERN from 834
Olson: CONTEMP from 3
Creeley: CONTEMP from 325
Ginsberg: CONTEMP Howl 337
Snyder: CONTEMP Riprap 537, Burning the Small Dead 538, The Wild
Brathwaite: CONTEMP Wings of a Dove 544
Howe: from Thorow CONTEMP 689
Bidart: CONTEMP from 750
Bernstein CONTEMP from The Lives of Toll Takers 911
Additional poems handed out in class.
Blast: MODERN 897
Loy: Feminist Manifesto MODERN 921
Olson: Projective Verse CONTEMP 1053
ON LINE READING:
Mallarmé: "A Throw of Dice" http://www.ubu.com/historical/mallarme/mallarme.html
Widely regarded as the first published poem using typography and white space
Maurizio Scudiero: The Italian Futurist Book. April 22, 1997.
READING: HANDED OUT IN CLASS:
Johanna Drucker: "Linguistic Authority and the Visual Text." From
her Figuring the Word: Essays on Books, Writing, and Visual Poetry.
NY: Granary Books, 1998. 137-139
WHAT WE'LL DO IN CLASS:
First we'll discuss typography as a kind of syntax in "open field"
free verse poems, then we'll look at some more radical uses of the page space
and consider how a visual poem "performs." After discussion, we'll have workshop.