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Joyce Summers

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Initially I was unsure if I should take the course because my knowledge of poetry was limited. I sent a tweet to Al, our professor: "I signed up for class. Poetry has been a mystery to me." He surprised me by responding: "I hope it won't be a mystery in the end." And so began my adventure into Modern & Contemporary American Poetry. What have I gained from the class? If one of Al's goals is to share his love of poetry so that others might learn to love it too, Al has certainly achieved that goal! His enthusiasm and joy to share what he loves and knows is totally effective even in our class of 34,000 students! Before this class I read a poem now and then and often dismissed it as being impossible to read or dismissed myself as being incapable of reading it. Now, in addition to the class assignments, I am reading slowly with newly learned confidence: "The Poems of Emily Dickinson" edited by R.W. Franklin; "Lucy Church Amiably" by Gertrude Stein; and "Book of Sketches" by Jack Kerouac. Isn't that amazing? Thank you Al. Thank you ModPo. Thank you TA's. Thank you ModPo staff and students. Thank you Kelly Writers House. Thank you University of Pennsylvania. Thank you Coursera.