1 p.m.–4 p.m.
Stretching into the World: The Poetry of Mary Oliver (at Rosemount Arts Center)
This class takes place at The Rosemount Steeple Center.
This class surveys the work of the late Mary Oliver, one of America's most beloved nature poets, with an eye toward learning how to write more empathetically and imaginatively about the natural world. Starting with Oliver's small-town childhood in Ohio, we'll trace the emergence of her mature voice in her early published work. We'll emphasize especially Oliver's prolific middle period in which she hones her ability to identify with an amazing variety of nonhuman "others." We'll also cast light on the labors hidden under the apparently effortless surfaces of Oliver's poems, with special attention to formal techniques that have shaped her poems throughout her career.
Oliver's later work takes new turns, particularly in spiritual and political directions sometimes startling to her long-time readers.
This class will demonstrate how consistently, in all her phases, she has increased her ability to "stretch into the world" to meet it on its own terms. Becoming more aware of the tensions, themes and conflicts underlying Oliver's work can help us learn to claim and incorporate some of its wild energy in our own poems. Writing exercises will be included to bring us closer to Oliver's creative process.
Small copy fee.