A new kind of poetry, a new kind of reading: Teaching contemporary literature in the classroom

Spain, LLCE2016-328;       The concept of the poem as a container of information the reader has to decipher is disappearing. Nowasdays, the poem is an artistic object per se, an element to be read, contemplated and listened to. And the role of the literary teacher has changed with it. Instead of providing students with metrical patterns and rethorical figures, the teacher has to render them strategies, ways the students can use to approach the poems themselves. My purpose with this work is analyzing some of those strategies using as example the poetry of Susan Howe. I will use some of her poems to show how a single word, the book title, the context or even a photograph become clues students have available to make a valid interpretation. I would also like to analyze the possibility of speaking of hypertextual readings within the printed text. In close connection to the concept of intertextuality, the literary text obliges the reader to rely on external sources for its interpretation. But with the technological progress more and more frequently those sources are electronic so I consider the printed text could be considered hypertextual, being also a characteristic to be explored in the classroom.

Key words:  Contemporary poetry – teaching – Susan Howe- technology – hypertextuality

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