Fall 2011 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Creating Poetry from Tradition to Innovation
How do contemporary poets do what they do? How can we learn from the past and yet still “make it new”? In this class, we will look at poetry from the ancients to the present as models for our own work. We will consider poetic traditions as well as contemporary poetic procedures. During the first few weeks of class we will move through Kenneth Koch’s essays and anthology to give us an overview of the history of poetic practice (Koch starts with Sappho and ends with Gary Synder). We will review the most important characteristics of poetry (rhyme, rhythm, repetition, image, music, etc.) Then we will work through the various stages of inspiration, creation and revision of our own poems. Students specializing in creative writing will find this class useful in establishing an overview of contemporary and traditional poetic practices as well as in trying their hand at a variety of writing styles. Literature and History of Ideas students may find this class helpful as a way to learn about contemporary poetry from the inside out, working through both a critical and creative understanding of it.
Required textbooks will likely include but not be limited to:
The Essential Haiku (ed. Robert Hass) ISBN-10: 0880013516
Hopkins, Gerard Manley Poems and Prose ISBN-10: 0140420150
Koch, Kenneth Making Your Own Days ISBN-10: 0-684-82438-8
Schuyler, James Selected Poems ISBN-10: 0374530890
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
*Exercises, workshop poems and feedback on classmates’ work (20%).
*One 3-4 page craft analysis essay of a series of poems by a single author read in this class (30%).
*One 4-5 page peer analysis of another student’s final portfolio of poems (20%).
*Final Portfolio of 7-10 pages of revised poems (30%).