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watch video on Genevieve Taggard's "Interior"

Course video 42 of 106

<p><b>Week 5 of ModPo 2019 covers chapters 3, 4, 5 & 6 and runs from Sunday, October 6, starting at 9 AM, to Sunday, October 13 at 9 AM (Philadelphia time). </b> For those doing ModPo on their own or in small groups, the week 5 materials are open and available all year. </p><p>Chapter 3 is a very brief look at communist poetry of the 1930s. These were years of economic crisis — the Depression. Like most other people, poets felt the urgency induced by privation, lack of opportunity, segregation and desperation. But poets had all along been inclined toward social as well as aesthetic experimentalism, and as they could write effectively, many felt they could be useful in the larger effort to find solutions — some modestly reformist, some more extreme — to the nation's and the world's huge problems. When the Depression set in, many poets embraced radical critiques of the economic status quo, and some even joined revolutionary groups such as the Communist Party of the United States. Such ideological journeys were often quite brief, however, and most once-Communist poets regretted joining the Party later, and said so. One of the myths created in the 1950s is that all modernist poets had repudiated modernism's embrace of opaqueness, indirection and self-referentiality and had decided suddenly to write clearly and “transparently” so that masses of people could understand their language. This is not true — many pre-1930s modernists continued to write in experimental modes and remained committed to cubism, surrealism, Dadaism, etc., as well as joining radical political causes. But for our purposes in this very brief chapter 3, we look at two poets whose poems might be said to contain radical content but to deliver that content in traditional — one might even say conservative — forms. What can we make of this apparent contradiction or irony? What can we learn here about modernism's relation to political life? </p><p><b>ASSIGNMENTS:</b> During week 5 (covering chapters 3, 4, 5 & 6), there are two quizzes due (see below). There are no writing assignments due. Peer reviews of writing assignment #2 are due and should be submitted anytime between 9 AM on 10/7/19 and 9 AM on 10/13/19. There is also a live webcast on Thursday, October 10, 2018, at 6:30 PM (local time) — we will be coming to you live from our annual "on the road" webcast, and we welcome ModPo’ers in or visiting the area to join us!</p>

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