Monday, May 16, 2016

Course Evaluation

Thank you for an excellent semester, students of 6th period Poetry class! Please take a few minutes to complete this course evaluation.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Prince Is Dead. Long Live Prince.

Here are a few more Prince links for those of you who'd like to explore a bit more:

A classic Prince track from Around the World in a Day, "Raspberry Beret" is also one of the best of Prince's official videos. This was on heavy rotation on MTV in the mid-to-late 80's. I couldn't find it on YouTube, but you can click this link to get to a video on another platform. Unfortunately, the video quality is marginal, but you still get a sense of the dreamy visual world that Prince and the Revolution create for the song.

People in second period didn't get to see this short film set to the funky title track of Prince's 2004 album Musicology, the tour for which came to Assembly Hall at U of I. (Ask around––you may know someone who was there. I was in the front row thanks to the mad quick ticket procuring practices of Matt Mitchell, so I can tell you all about it.)

There are many amazing live Prince performances available on the internet (including his flawless 2007 Superbowl halftime show in the rain, which you should find and watch if you haven't seen it), and one I wanted to share with you ("Why Don't U Call Me Anymore" from the 1985 Purple Rain tour) got taken down (grrr), but here are a few others:

"I Would Die 4 U" from Purple Rain. (This is intercut with scenes from the storyline near the end of of the movie, but the performance is still great. There's an even better performance from a few years after Purple Rain where Prince performs this live with Sheila E. on drums, but I couldn't find it on the internet.)

(There are many other awesome musical numbers in this film, including a riveting performance of "The Beautiful Ones.")

Prince in concert in 2007 with one of his favorite collaborators, the powerhouse drummer and percussionist Sheila E.:

A chill but lovely casual performance on piano at a soundcheck in Japan:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

For Wednesday, we'll read three poems by the dynamic poetic powerhouse Sylvia Plath, who during her too-brief life created a rich and riveting body of work. Please read each of the following poems with care (twice if possible):

The title poem from Plath's first collection, "The Colossus."

And two poems from her second collection, the posthumously published Ariel: "Daddy" and
"Lady Lazarus."

 Sylvia Plath the woman

Sylvia Plath the muse      

Monday, May 9, 2016

Howl, parts i and ii––Optional reading for Tuesday

Allen Ginsberg's Howl, parts i and ii

And don't forget your required reading: "America" and "Supermarket in California" in your blue coursepacket.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Frank O'Hara and Ron Padgett for Friday

Our poems for Friday:

Frank O'Hara, Today (third poem from the top of the page) and The Day Lady Died

And the Ron Padgett poems in your blue course packet

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Brooks, Creeley, and Bukowski: Poems for Thursday, May 5

Your poems for Thursday:

Gwendolyn Brooks, A Song in the Front Yard and We Real Cool

Robert Creeley, I Know a Man and After Lorca

Charles Bukowski, poems in your blue course packet

Final Exam Practice and Tyehimba Jess Interview

A 2013 interview with Tyehimba Jess at the University of New Haven. He speaks about the genesis of the poems in Leadbelly starting around 1:40.

And here's your practice final exam to take during class on Wednesday, and the images you'll need to look at for section C of the exam.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Poems for Friday, April 29

I've cut the poems for Friday down to the following three. Please read them before class and we'll discuss one of them briefly before our reading time for the poems from Tyehimba Jess's Leadbelly.

"Filling Station" by Elizabeth Bishop

Dream Song #14 by John Berryman

"Berryman" by W.S. Merwin

(There's an audio file for two of these poems, Elizabeth Bishop reading her own poem "Filling Station," and Garrison Keillor reading W.S. Merwin's "Berryman." John Berryman was W.S. Merwin's poetry teacher at Princeton. Berryman was one of the most important American poets of the mid-twentieth century, and Merwin went on to become one of the most important American poets of the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries.)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Blackbird Circles and your Final Syllabus

Here is Sierra M-S's beautiful illustration of a line from Wallace Stevens (from her public poetry project of yore):

And here is your fifth and final syllabus.