Saturday, October 25, 2008

execs deal with upside-down urinal

For about a decade I've been teaching in the executive education program of the Wharton School here. For three hours the execs--here for five weeks of intensive courses--and I talk about modern poetry. We do some Dickinson, some Williams, occasionally a little imagist Pound, often some McKay and Cullen, and Wallace Stevens' "Gray Room" (a poem about desire unperceived by the diffident poet-speaker). We also discuss Duchamp's "Fountain" (the readymade that is an turned-upside-down urinal). That's hilarious and, I think, edifying. Perhaps someday I'll write at length about my experience with these businesspeople, but for now I only want to point out that when the Wall Street Journal ran a round-up on unusual Executive Education Program pedagogy, I made the story. Quite astonishing, really. Here's a link to the article. (WSJ 9/30/08, p. R2.)