First Class Meeting of Listening to Sound Poetry


In this class, we’ll tune our ears to poetry as a sound art. Focusing primarily on works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we will listen to sound poetry (whether performed or on the page) with an ear towards discovering how these strange sonic performances and meditations reveal a seemingly hidden world of thought and feeling. Why have a small group of poets pushed against articulation, versification, and grammar? What led them to reject words while still embracing the concept of poetry? In the class, we will not only conduct a survey of the history and poetics of sound poetry but also use sound to create new “listenings” of our favorite poems. Readings/listenings will include Dada sound poetry, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Vachel Lindsay, T.S. Eliot, John Cage, Henri Chopin, Jackson Mac Low, Susan Howe, Caroline Bergvall, and more.

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