ModPo: The Difference Is Spreading
University of Pennsylvania professor Al Filreis' Coursera massive open online course Modern and Contemporary American Poetry (ModPo) has spawned many creative works that includes poems, books, music, dramatic readings, and paintings. The Dresser takes this opportunity to feature Philippian artist T. De Los Reyes who created 25 note cards that combine words drawn mostly from the ModPo texts married with provocative images or backdrops.
Among the Dresser's favorites are: The Difference Is Spreading, a line drawn from Gertrude's Stein long poem Tender Buttons and specifically the opening subpoem "A Carafe, That Is A Blind Glass." De Los Reyes sets these words on a hefty carafe filled with dark liquid, which suggests the dark shading Stein layers into this coded lesbian love poem.
Walt Whitman's repetitive "Urge And Urge And Urge" from his expansive poem Song of Myself sits on top of the keyboard of a manual typewriter. The urge to communicate rings across time and continues to be as fresh as the day Whitman set these words on paper.
De Los Reyes also quotes Filreis: "Here's the small gasp: we're lost in a poem...and that loss is thrilling." Of course this is what poetry does for its readers--it allows one to step out of time, to retreat into a protected space that redeems and renews. For this card, the artist chose a backdrop of tall trees, trees the source of paper, the stuff of books.
Meet T. (Twinkle De Los Reyes) in the ModPo discussion forums when the third offering of Filreis' remarkable online course that seems so intimate that you feel like you are there in his classroom. ModPo opens September 6, 2014, and runs for ten weeks but the discussion forums remain open until September 2015 for anyone who signs up for the course.
And oh yes, De Los Reyes has cards that read: "Poetry Nerd and Proud" and "Do the Work."