Fall 2015 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
We know what a poem looks likeâ€”a grouping of words with intentional line breaks, making a jagged right margin. But, aside from a certain physical structureâ€”which, when weâ€™re discussing prose poems doesnâ€™t even apply anymoreâ€”what makes a poem a poem? Dante said, â€œpoetry is putting together the best words in the most beautiful order.â€ Emily Dickinson said that poetry was the kind of writing which â€œtakes the top of your head off.â€ Federico Garcia Lorca claimed that poetry must have the â€œduende,â€ a kind of fight or struggle, that â€œumphâ€ which is indefinable, and yet, a reader recognizes it when it is there.
In this semester workshop, students will read, write, and discuss poetry. We will read a variety of formsâ€”defined both by structure and contentâ€”from the elegy to the ode, from the sonnet to the sestina, and from the narrative poem to the villanelle. We will analyze poems by formalists and by writers who defy traditional forms. But, rather than simply reading and discussing these works, students will create the very poetic forms and structures they are studying. Through reading, discussion, and writing, we will create a community of poets.
Students will write and workshop several poems throughout the course of the semester and turn in a portfolio at the end of the course that includes revised versions of their work.
Parini, Jay, ed. The Wadsworth Anthology of Poetry. ISBN#: 1-4130-0473-3
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria: