I am preparing for the online poetry course by coursera which starts in September. It is called ModPo and not surprisingly is all about Modern American Poetry.
My ears are very unattune to American accents. I thought I had lived my whole life with all the different varieties of American language, Nixon on the radio to Obama and Jay Carney.
I find I really need to see the words in front of me, but they are not there. All I can do is shut my eyes so that all of my brain is trying to follow the words. When it is unfamiliar poetry the result is that I'm simply experiencing the sound of the poet's voice as he or she speaks her soul to a room in a live performance. I miss so many words that I can't get the meaning at all!
John Ashbery audio clips on PennSound