von Ruth M•
Apr 15, 2016
Although I'm only the first week, there are two main comments I'd like to make.
Firstly, why are the lectures sub-divided with the ridiculous, overlong, and irritating introduction for each section. In lesson one, this was repeated 11 times. What a waste of time!
Secondly, the transcripts are in rich text, which is basically unreadable, has no line breaks, which makes reading the poems impossible, and the transcripts are poorly transcribed, making them illiterate.
I feel I may not continue with the course for these reasons, even though the content is really interesting.
This is the worst presented MOOC I have encountered.....I have completed 6, and am undertaking another 2, with edxcel and with futurelearn
von Joseph W•
Sep 20, 2016
This iteration of the course (August-September 2016) fizzled because so few students were actively participating. Early in the course, I worked diligently on my written contributions to the discussion forums, but then there was so little peer response that I gradually came to understand that I was mostly just talking to myself. Halfway through the course, I gave up on the forums.
But I read all the poems, viewed the videos and took the quizzes. The quizzes are lame, the poetry selection is great, and the video lectures are all worthwhile.
I had initial misgivings about some of the videos. The improvised round-table discussions of meta-poems by Dickinson, Stevens and Mullen (module 4, lesson 4) initially seemed too colloquial and not incisive, but then I realized they had value as models for how to grope into an initial understanding of a strange poem. The lecture on Hart Crane (module 1, lesson 4) was too difficult for me to follow in real-time spoken form, but then I found I could understand some of it by frequently stopping and starting the video, re-reading the lecture text in transcript, and taking long breaks for careful review of Crane's verse and for research about some of its allusions and associations. That lecture might have made more sense in purely written form, and I wonder if it was so daunting that it scared off some of the students who started the course.
As a whole, the course managed a satisfying balance between discussion of the poetry itself and discussion of the social and economic contexts in which the poetry was created and consumed. I especially appreciated the clarity of Karen Ford's many lectures and Tim Newcomb's lively and enthusiastic investigation of the role of little magazines in the 1910s & 1920s.
Sep 12, 2017
Great Lectures, big content, high academic level But...
Lectures are deeply dull: all but 5 or 6 (on nearly 70) are long static videos of a lecturer speaking like he/she is reading, sometimes even robot-like speeches, no cacthy at all.
Sessions are based on Peer Evaluation, but often to find peers is a problem. I worked hard to do my assignment on time, then I had to switch sessions because no one was assessing my work.
von James T•
Nov 15, 2016
A class on Modern American Poetry and Ezra Pound was only treated secondarily? Crazy!
As well, much of my time on recommended reading was spent looking for the poetry. Why are there no links to the poetry we are learning about?
von Steven P•
Jul 14, 2017
I don't have time and money to complete the course but this was so enlightening and a great intro to Modern American Poetry. There were a lot of things I didn't even realize I didn't know. This makes me definitely more eager to investigate more! Thank you so much for this opportunity.
von Diana K•
May 12, 2018
I am really grateful for being a part of this course. It was a wonderful experience! All professors are unique and all the lectures are thought-provoking and creative.
von Liam G•
Aug 06, 2016
In depth, and eye opening to many American poets. A great mind expander and real introduction to the poetry of the Native Americans. Brilliant.
von Claude C•
Jun 15, 2020
very intense but excellent a either an introduction or anyone wishing to gain more in-depth knowledge
von Nancy R•
Feb 13, 2020
This course was challanging and I loved it
von Moshe S•
Jun 10, 2016
Top quality lectures, so far....
von Nicolas P•
Jul 06, 2020
I liked the course, though I have to say I found certain chapters inaccessible as a non-native speaker. This particularly applies to "The Bridge." I felt kind of lost in the lecture and could not make much sense of the poem either. Maybe I will return to it later on and have another go.
I'm not sure I can agree Emily Dickinson's poem in the module on metapoetry is metapoetic, as defined by the lecturer. Although apart from that, that module was great and refreshing, because of an altered format, which brings me to the next point:
I think the lectures are kind of monotonous both visually and in terms of content delivery. The previous courses I took on Coursera (Python for Everybody specialization) were so alive I literally had the sense I was sitting next to the professor and he was talking to me. In Modern American Poetry, the lectures sounded as if they were being read word for word (which was probably the case) and seeing just the professor reading and the bookshelf behind them most of the time detracted from the experience. Perhaps it would be better if some "slide-like" elements were added, not just with verses, but perhaps with the dates of the events mentioned, diagrams, or something. I know there were some, but after watching all of the lectures, it really feels like hours of watching a single person reading in the frame + opening/closing sequence + photos + verses. Those dates, diagrams and other pop-up data, if they were there, didn't really register for me. Perhaps there were too few in proportion to how long the "talking head" remains in the frame.
Also, I realize this might be due to people in the U.S. taking copyright seriously, but for me, it was absolutely infuriating that some of the poems assigned or suggested for reading were so hard to find online I eventually abandoned all hope to do it. I was glad I had poetry collections of many of the poets mentioned prior to starting the course, but if I were a complete beginner, that would probably annoy me even more. I mean, one listens to the lecture, reads the text, makes an honest attempt to understand it, but on top of that, so much effort is needed to find the full texts of some of the poems mentioned in the lectures.
I think the guidelines for doing and grading the written assignments should put more emphasis on independent thinking and proposing ideas of one's own. The way they are formulated, some people tend to just repeat whatever is said in the lecture, referencing the videos and the poems here and there and making a point of sounding polite and clear, but that really does not add anything. I feel it is much more valuable to add one thought of your own than reiterate five points already made in the lecture, more or less. But the way I read the grading recommendations, that is not explicitly encouraged, so some people just avoid it and probably get high grades on peer review, because that is not really required.
von Eric O•
Jun 22, 2016
A pretty good overview of modern poetry. Very high on generalities and low on details - like detailed readings of individual poems.
The fact the the majority of the instructors just read their lectures and many of them never look up at the camera at all makes this seem very lazy and impersonal. There's very little of the engagement that would really make this interesting.
von Joy S•
Jan 13, 2017
Good overall review: I encountered stuff I did not know before. Just a little highbrow.
von Shabab N K•
Oct 27, 2016
It was really hard to complete the course as not enough peer reviewers were there. Had to switch sessions twice.
Feb 06, 2020
I'm interested in the good, the beautiful, and the true. This course wallows in the ugly, the nonsensical, and the ribald. Pass, thanks.