Coursera Modern & Contemporary Poetry class starts this week!
I am recommending this course as a great way to understand and appreciate modern poetry. Actually, it is the best online course I have taken in any subject. I felt like it gave me superpowers - namely the ability to enjoy Emily Dickinson. I thought that was impossible as Dickinson had always caused me frustration and confusion. But now, I love Dickinson, and I have gained the ability to enjoy other more subtle authors of the modern period.
Watch the video from the first week on Emily Dickinson's "The Brain within its groove". The method of the class is close reading - a patient and detailed analysis of each phrase chosen by the author. Rather than lecturing, the professor leads a discussion between six or seven students, guiding them through a close reading. We get to see them struggle with the work, make mistakes, bring their own backgrounds into the discussion, and ultimately come to an understanding. It's far better than a lecture.
So come take the class with me! If you are a reader, you are in for pure delight. If you are a writer, you will develop new tools and deeper insights into how words relate to meaning.
Reading and understanding other people's poetry is essential to honing your craft.