Julia Bloch

Against the weather: On teaching Williams

Joe Milutis & Williams's failure

Screen shot from Joe Milutis's sound piece.
Screen shot from Joe Milutis's sound piece.

On our second day on Paterson we were visited via Skype by Joe Milutis, whose New Jersey as an Impossible Object blog I’ve been following for the last several years — since I first read Paterson in graduate school, as a matter of fact. I wanted to bring Joe in to teach us how to navigate the poem using sounds and images, but also to read his poem “By Defective Means,” which appears in Visiting Dr. Williams.

Williams in the mail

WCW stamp.
WCW stamp.

Mail received the other day from Joe Milutis, who Skyped into my William Carlos Williams class to talk about Paterson and the work he’s been doing on the impressively audio-rich and intertextual blog New Jersey as an Impossible Object.

Visualizing Paterson

Question gallery.
Question gallery.

Our first week on Williams’s Paterson we began by constructing a question gallery. First, come up with a question about some key detail of the poem. Second, come up with a quesion about some formal element of the poem. Third, come up with a question about a larger question raised by the poem. Once the questions have been pinned to the wall, used colored post-its to annotate, respond to, and further question the questions.

The MLA does not support the variable foot

Asphodel flowers.
Asphodel flowers.

By the time we got to the long, apologetic love poem Asphodel, That Greeny Flower in the Williams class, I was beginning to worry about the relatively short amount of time we had spent on the variable foot.

Dowling/Taransky/Williams

Sarah Dowling, Michelle Taransky, and Central California.
Sarah Dowling, Michelle Taransky, and Central California.

Poets Sarah Dowling (until recently of Philadelphia; now of Seattle; originally of Regina, Saskatchewan) and Michelle Taransky (of Philadelphia; originally of Camden, New Jersey) used Google Hangout to visit my William Carlos Williams class last month to talk about their relationship to WCW, modernism, and Spring and All.