and then there was

                      __                                    __ 

— perhaps a bit melodramatic — perhaps more of a tribute to John Cage since I just read a fellow ModPo student blog that wrote a bit of a  “homage” to Cage. He doesn’t care for Cage. I do. Will I try to change his mind–


— perhaps that is the greatest gift I learned from taking Al Filreis’s UPenn’s ModPo course via Coursera ~ it taught me to appreciate what I couldn’t appreciate on my own. I have never been one to follow the crowd, but when the crowd offers intellectual reasoning — when post after post alludes to a nuance that creates a beauty… then why would I not read again.

— perhaps in this life we do not look close enough below the surface to see what has been buried to create the beauty. ModPo was not about appearance, we were not reading to unearth pretty visions. If you took the time to reconsider the word; language for its place in ‘reality’ , then your POV of reality could not help but be changed.


Ten weeks have been a cacophony of thousands upon thousands of words upon digital pages from voices that span this globe. ModPo’s forums called out with an energy that could fuel a revolution if we had wanted one. It reminds me of one of my favorite poems from this course – “The Sun Came” by Etheridge Knight, in response to Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem “truth”. It wouldn’t have resonated as much if I had not heard the poem — the voice beats its rhythm in my brain as I write and I cannot deny the power of his ending words:

–perhaps this time, this time, we got it right — we ain’t waiting for no vision, we rely on what can be found in the 
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3 thoughts on “— — —

  1. There’s strong music and rhythm in your best poems too; perhaps that’s another reason the poem speaks to you.

    I made up my mind about Cage long ago (it’s not chance I have a problem with, but the way he goes about using it), but I valued going into the forums and reading multiple viewpoints even when I disagreed. When I disagreed strongly, these other viewpoints helped me sharpen and sometimes modify my position. But there was also a lot of babble and needless contention. And maybe that’s why the revolution doesn’t occur. So many people can’t disagree without getting defensive and testy, instead of seeing it as a learning experience. I’m very happy you and I don’t have that problem!

    Hope you have a great holiday tomorrow.

    • I hope you had a wonderful holiday too, Mark!

      Thanks for the clarification about Cage. Please know that I always respect your POV…in fact, if you are against something, I stop and take another look trying to see what I have missed in my own conclusion. So glad that my contrarian nature has kept in check for the most part. I must agree, people, esp. toward the end, addressed the forum as if special authority PoMO. In my opinion, a student can go ahead and state a disagreement or dislike, but to attack and name-call those who disagree with one’s POV is rather juvenile and unproductive.

      Btw– finally started Conversations with Kafka today (along with two other books, so who knows how long it shall take!)

  2. It’s been an interesting experience for me, also, to test my reactions against those others have had to various works reviewed in the course. Cage was a good example. I was one who did not like the mesostics exercise (though I did my duty as best I could), yet it was interesting to see how drawn others were to it and what they were able to turn out. I have over time grown to appreciate Cage’s role in music, particularly, but I use “appreciate” specifically, rather than “like.” It’s going to be interesting to me to see how I respond to various works once I’ve had a chance to let things sift and settle. I actually doubt I’ll move from “appreciate” to “like” when it comes to Cage, but my thoughts about him have certainly gained dimension through exchanges with thoughtful classmates like you and Mark.

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