Spring 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
There are any number of mysteries to unravel in any given poem, but poetry does not operate primarily via mystification. Poems are vocal as well as visual. A poem is as much a machine as it is an exquisitely wrought, seemingly seamless object. Is a poem, then, just a lovely contradiction? Sometimes, and not always. Poems say, and they say something worth saying, and they say the worthy things they have to say in the most interesting way available to them. That is, poems create an aesthetic experience via careful, imaginative manipulations of language.
In this course, we will focus our explorations of poetry upon those sensible artistic approaches to language -- both as read and as heard -- that make poems function as poems. We will alternate sessions of in-class writing and reading discussion with sessions in which we will turn our collective attention to poems written by members of the class, aka "workshop." Both our reading and writing will aim for maximum diversity: we will consider classic and contemporary verse, in English and in other languages (via translations), and participating writers will be encouraged to range freely across the many possible forms and expressions poetry can take. Ideally, each writer will come away from this class with both a finer appreciation of the concrete particulars of poetry and a more expansive notion of what constitutes the poetic.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Assessment And Evaluation Of Performance
1) Completion of assigned readings and reading responses (20% / 160 points).
2) Completion of regular writing exercises (20% / 160 points).
3) Submission of written comments for ALL workshop sessions (30% / 240 points)
4) Submission of a portfolio of no less than 6 and no more than 12 individual poems, at least half of which have been revised over the course of the semester ("Final") (15% / 120 points).
5) Active participation in class discussion (15% / 120 points).