ClassPoetry: Learning the Essentials of Craft
What skills do we need to acquire if we are to express, in words, something of our marvelous complexity? How do poets manipulate and control language to create, through language, something that seems beyond explication in "ordinary" words? What (where?) is this other world, this metaphorical space that poetry opens up?
This single-session class is an introduction to some of the "craft essentials" of poetry: it is designed for those with little or no experience, and it is designed to help you begin to answer the questions posed above. We will look at the poetic line, the stanza, metaphor and simile, and take a quick look at meter, syllabics, and accentual verse. We will explore the transformative power of point of view and tense, the relationship between poetic content and form, and discuss the difficult, and critical, process of revision, discovering, as we go, the myriad of ways in which carefully crafted language enables a poem's emotional content. The emphasis is on close reading of poems, in-class discussions, and writing prompts that will help you generate new work.
Bring a bag lunch; we'll break as needed.