Modern & Contemporary American Poetry

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10/10 stars
based on  174 reviews
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Cost FREE
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Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • On demand

Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4715 reviews

Course Description

ModPo is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, with an emphasis on experimental verse, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly "difficult."
Reviews 10/10 stars
174 Reviews for Modern & Contemporary American Poetry

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Laurel Hulley profile image
Laurel Hulley profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
Dear Al, and all the Knights of the Round Table-- (too flowery?). Simply mean that the close reading and "Via translating" you do is like a quest. Al says bring me back the golden-dirty fleece and you do! Your love of the process, the demandingness, and the ferment of 20th century poetry is infectious and always stimulating. I learned so much--much more than was explicitly taught! Thank you for your heroic hard work and wonderful minds. You are truly full of Eunoia and we felt it. This is just to say: (And stealing a paraphrase to say it) The thing that I'll remember 20 years from now, is that you showed, lived and taught us that even in this fatigued and battered world, art (language) can still express an uncanny and sublime thought. You lived it, showed it, proved it. Kelly House is a type of hidden, historical Paris/Venice/ Village. Will really miss the weekly meetings. Thanks. Will spread the word. *********** (To answer the rest... Dear Al, and all the Knights of the Round Table-- (too flowery?). Simply mean that the close reading and "Via translating" you do is like a quest. Al says bring me back the golden-dirty fleece and you do! Your love of the process, the demandingness, and the ferment of 20th century poetry is infectious and always stimulating. I learned so much--much more than was explicitly taught! Thank you for your heroic hard work and wonderful minds. You are truly full of Eunoia and we felt it. This is just to say: (And stealing a paraphrase to say it) The thing that I'll remember 20 years from now, is that you showed, lived and taught us that even in this fatigued and battered world, art (language) can still express an uncanny and sublime thought. You lived it, showed it, proved it. Kelly House is a type of hidden, historical Paris/Venice/ Village. Will really miss the weekly meetings. Thanks. Will spread the word. *********** (To answer the rest--this is my first on-line course. The website is incredibly supportive and user friendly. Even challenging content was very successfully conveyed--but I expected to not track everything because of my lack of poetry background. Perhaps a survey course in 2oth century history in Europe and America would give a little more context for the artistic movements underway and be a good preparation. Also, having some students of color at the table would be good.)
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Janet Kralovec profile image
Janet Kralovec profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
This was the most outstanding course I have ever taken, college or otherwise, and barring the fact that it was online. The Professor and TAs were engaging, extremely knowledgeable of their material, sophisticated in their intelligence and manner and execution of the course, and always strove to involve the student body as much as possible. Because the course was presented in such a stimulating and comfortable environment, it encouraged me to want to strive harder and push myself to the outer limits. Janet Kralovec - Chicago
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Christina Boutopoulou profile image
Christina Boutopoulou profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
This course is absolutely amazing!!I learned how to read and interpret poetry in so many different ways that no teacher in university has ever taught me! Professor Al Filreis and the TAs have worked and prepared for this course excellently! I recommend this course to anyone who is interested in exploring the world of modern poetry!
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Bastian Abel profile image
Bastian Abel profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
What an excellent course! I honestly did not have great expectations at first because I thought it would be very difficult to manage to analyze so many poems and the different trends in American poetry also considering that we are more than 32.000 ModPoers from around the world. However, this course exceeded what I thought I was going to learn as I became a more enthusiastic student. English is not my mother tongue and this massive online course has helped me to develop my level of English. The experience I gained is way beyond what I truly expected. ModPo managed to gather thousands of people with the same love and passion for poetry, this is priceless. Professor Al is my mentor, he is a great teacher and I really appreciate the fact that he has been always there to help and respond to our doubts. I just want to end encouraging people interested in poetry to join Coursera and sign up for the ModPo. I wish this course had continuity.... What an excellent course! I honestly did not have great expectations at first because I thought it would be very difficult to manage to analyze so many poems and the different trends in American poetry also considering that we are more than 32.000 ModPoers from around the world. However, this course exceeded what I thought I was going to learn as I became a more enthusiastic student. English is not my mother tongue and this massive online course has helped me to develop my level of English. The experience I gained is way beyond what I truly expected. ModPo managed to gather thousands of people with the same love and passion for poetry, this is priceless. Professor Al is my mentor, he is a great teacher and I really appreciate the fact that he has been always there to help and respond to our doubts. I just want to end encouraging people interested in poetry to join Coursera and sign up for the ModPo. I wish this course had continuity. Greetings from Chile, thanks Al and the ATs.
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Joyce Coursera profile image
Joyce Coursera profile image
10/10 starsDropped
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
I really enjoy the poem and found that even ModPo is a very short course and do not have a pressure as the other credit counted course, but I really enjoy this course, and get benefit from it. And I really appreciate what Al and the ModPo teams work, Al is a great teacher, I can’t imaging how much effort he puts in this course, I am so impressed and feel lucky to join this as my first Coursera course. Thank you.
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Asma Osmani profile image
Asma Osmani profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
this was the most interesting course i have taken up at coursera . Prof. Al and all the TA's had been most active and most helpful. the discussions in the course were best part of it. I enjoyed and learned a lot during assignments
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Sumita Jetley profile image
Sumita Jetley profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
Its' just like natural , I breathe and live this now a days. it seems , it opened a Parallel door to things which were dealt in shallow. It gave an anchor to thoughts , thoughts responded & something has started germinating. Its' a process , right now can't say what but expect nothing less than a Gulmohar ,tree laden with blossoms. I smell it in my being.
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Geetha Srinivasan profile image
Geetha Srinivasan profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
Thanks to all the English teachers from my school days who taught me to love poetry. I guess all that preparation was for this opportunity to sit in this online class and close read poems with Al Filreis these few weeks. Now this love for poetry is passing through generations as I read Whitman to my 3 year old son, who simply loves to listen. Thank you Al and all the TA's .... "It's no surprise that within days on this course, that we had approached the superior doors of the house... delighted on Dickinson, we broached."
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Murray Rosenbaum profile image
Murray Rosenbaum profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
As a 68 year old Contracts attorney my currency, too, is words. As a poetry novice, my goal in choosing this ModPo course was to push myself out of my comfort zone - to grapple and, yes, to...hesitate....with words of a different kind. Thank you, Al. Thank you, TA's and behind the scenes staff! What a challenging and enriching experience you have provided, and I am very grateful for all your efforts and energy and amiable companionship throughout these many weeks together. You, and the poets you have included, have encouraged me to look at and to see the world, and life, with a different lens. It doesn't get better than that. Again, thank you so much! Murray Rosenbaum Scottsdale, AZ
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Richard Engelkemeir profile image
Richard Engelkemeir profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
I have really enjoyed this course, not only the poetry, frequently both text and spoken word. The discussions greatly aided my understanding of these works. Main peeves are perhaps Coursera mechanics. It would be nice, for example, if could open/close each week's syllabus entries, rather than having to scroll down if my position in browser gets dislodged. I'll definitely miss it when it comes to an end all too soon.
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Denitsa Georgieva profile image
Denitsa Georgieva profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
I am really happy to follow that course and dive in the world of poetry - each time from a different shore. It's a great pleasure to investigate the depths of other people's minds and hearts and at the same time - your own stream of thought, while you are trying to figure out a poem! The course gives you a lot of perspective, the team is great and responsive, the video lessons are always interesting and exciting. I enjoy the course a lot and recommend it to everyone who likes to read or write poetry.
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Jkziel profile image
Jkziel profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
Al Filreis is an enthusiastic and committed professor. I have nothing but thanks for the efforts of his team. My suggestion would be to polish up the writting assignments for clarity of assignment, focusing on what may have been easily misunderstood this time around and make adjustments to the rubrics as well. I enjoyed the writting assignments and the peer reviews, I learned a lot from both processes, with a bit of tweaking for clarity you'll have a home run!
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Carol Stephen profile image
Carol Stephen profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
I am not sure I can do justice to a review of this course, but I must try. ModPo is a complete immersion in poetry and poetics, working through the history of American poetry from Dickinson and Whitman up to today's writers. Amazing to do that in 10 short weeks. The personal attention and dedication of Al Filreis and his teaching assistants is wonderful, and hard to do with such a huge enrollment. Yet we each feel as though they know our names and offer such encouragement. The community of ModPo students on the discussion forums and on FB feel like close friends and colleagues, although spread over the globe. In fact, I was so enthused about this course that I signed up for three more. I recommend the course every chance I get. And bravo to Al and his group for a great great experience.
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Carolyn Mallory profile image
Carolyn Mallory profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
This course has exceeded my expectations. Not in terms of the content because I have some experience with poetry, but in terms of the distance education component. I've taken a couple of courses this way and the video presentations and the discussions between Al and his TAs are superlative to anything I have taken. It's such a pleasure to watch and listen to the discussions that it hardly feels like work. Don't get me wrong, the assignments and the interpretations are challenging but if you keep up, these things are manageable. The deeper understanding of the poems and my confidence in my own interpretations and writing about poetry are just some of the rewards. I strongly encourage anyone interested in poetry of any type to try this course! There is so much to gain and nothing to lose. Thanks Al and all the TAs for the passion, enthusiasm, and the intelligence in the discussions.
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Roberta profile image
Roberta profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
A wonderful course that goes far beyond what I had hoped for. Interesting and enlightening, it provides a lot of exciting material. The videos are a great way to introduce poems and a great model to understand how to best approach poetry. I wish I had met a teacher half as cool as Mr Filreis during my studies!
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Anthony R profile image
Anthony R profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 11 reviews
  • 10 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
A wonderful course! It makes accessible the poems of the era that give the course its title, as well as providing an analytic for finding understanding in the poetry. The approach by the Instructor and his student TAs is, in a word, awesome. This approach reflects the welcoming attitude of the Kelly Writers House on campus at Penn. Requires a substantial amount of time to best appreciate the material, but it is well worth it. Highest recommendation.
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Beth Goldberg profile image
Beth Goldberg profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
ModPo has been such a great experience for me. Al and his team of remarkable TA's do a fabulous job at keeping the course interesting, fun and so well organized. Not only have I learned so much about poetry, poets, interpreting poetry, etc., but the sense of community that has evolved in the course with fellow "classmates" has been wonderful. I credit Al for this. His passion, enthusiasm, knowledge and welcoming ways allow his ModPo students to have this fantastic opportunity to learn and grow.
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Roze Elizabeth profile image
Roze Elizabeth profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
I cannot imagine this course & it's presentation being Any better than it is. It has been an absolute joy To be involved in this for a short time. I love being Able to dip in when I can. Reading these works & being introduced to this huge array of writers has been Wonderful. I've recommended cousera & raved about The offerings, but none more than MoPo. This class has managed to feed my soul like no other Thing bar my dog, & trees. Thank u Al& your TA's. You have done very fine stuff here. :)
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Arlene Mandell profile image
Arlene Mandell profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
So much to praise: Al and those brilliant young students. The challenging syllabus. Being reintroduced to poets I thought I knew. Occasionally getting lost in an explanation, needing to reread, underline. As a retired English professor, realizing how little I know after all.
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John Nuccio profile image
John Nuccio profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
The course is great. Al, your passion for poetry and your passion for teaching is beyond measure. I took a few course beyond freshman and sophomore English in college in the late 50's. I am getting more out of this course than I ever did in the classroom. I knew that Dickinson had a impact on modern poetry but I never realized what an influence Whitman had. Too bad we didn't have some Gerard Manley Hopkins and T. S. Eliot. Maybe next time. Thanks to the TA's for their input and help. John Nuccio
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def profile image
def profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
This is the most wonderful course I could imagine. When I signed up, I figured the worst case scenario would be that I got a reading list of great poems to chew on. I did get the reading list, but with it so much more. I entered a whole new world. I have joined a lively, friendly stimulating community of people of all ages and backgrounds from all over the world discussing wonderful poems. This is not a course where you just sit back and the prof fills you with information. This is a course that makes you want to actively engage and think and discuss and where you find others doing the same. I have learned to read anew. This course will stay with me the rest of my life. This course has changed my life. It was a lucky day when I decided to take a chance on Al's course on Modern American poetry.
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Carmen Gonzalez profile image
Carmen Gonzalez profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
I enroled this course because as a learner of English as a second Language I though it would be interesting to know a bit about modern poetry. However, this course is more than what I expected! Prof Filreis and his team have made me feel that poetry is different from what I had ever known. I have learned to look beyond the words to find their possible meanings and to understand English at a deeper level. I highly recomend this course to anyone and especially to those who are learning English and are, as I am, interested in American Culture. It has been hard work because of my lack of previous knowledge, but everyone at ModPo is very responsive and the forums are a great way to learn too! Thanks everyone at the ModPo community.
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Anthony Kolasny profile image
Anthony Kolasny profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
6 years, 6 months ago
Al Filreis has created an inviting course which introduces the participant to Modern & Contemporary American Poetry. Much thoughtful effort has gone into the design of this course. It is recognized and greatly appreciated. The video lectures present a very close read of key poems. They provide a wonderful dialogue with the TAs and a feeling that the viewer is across the table from the discussion. The quizzes are clear and reinforce the course content. I've found the peer reviewed essay format very enjoyable. It allows a conversation with classmates which adds insight into the interpretation of the poem. The special activities like live webcasts and facebook interactions from the instructor and TAs provide an extra feeling of connectedness and commitment. The effort and involvement by the entire ModPo Course community is appreciated. I highly recommended course.
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Irene Olumese profile image
Irene Olumese profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 9 months ago
I registered for the Cousera seeking to deepen my understanding and appreciation of Poetry. In the first week, I felt like someone who learnt to swim as a child, but had not the opportunity to do so again until adulthood, jumping into the deep end of an Olympic sized swimming pool! It took the passion and enthusiasm of Prof Al and his team, and a great desire to learn, to keep me afloat. I have had many first time experiences with Poetry over the last 7 weeks and learnt so much taking this course. It's been an exhilarating and enriching experience but sometimes frustrating because of my limited basic knowledge of poetry - rhythm and meters etc. But I am swimming more surely now close reading poems. It is worth the time and the effort. I will never read Poetry the same way again! Many thanks to ModPo!
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.