Fall 2016 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Turner Fred
Discipline and Number
CRWT 3351 Section HN1
M Time 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title
Creating Poetry

Description of Course:

Poetry is an art of words. Its study is the core of the study of literature itself, as literature is the core of the humanities and humanities the core of a university.

As an art, poetry is akin to music, in that it is a way of making prosodic patterns that are memorable, meaningful, and moving. As such it requires an understanding of rhythm and periodic structures that are not unique to any one culture or group of cultures, but are part of the human patrimony; one can scan Japanese, Mesopotamian, Mayan and New Guinean poetry in the same ways that we scan Greek, Roman, German and English poetry. Poetry is one of the shamanic arts, combining story, music, imagery, logic and a kind of magic made of the resonances of the connotations that are embedded in every human word.

Poetry is also an art of time, a way of making the passage of words in time form structures that embody processes of feeling and thought that would otherwise be lost.

And as an art of words it both demands attention to the etymological history of its materials and offers all the resources of grammar and idiom that enable us to communicate in a rich and nuanced way. Human beings make language and expand it by almost every sentence that they speak, since no words are ever spoken again in exactly the same context and for the same intended meaning. Poetry intensifies this exploratory function of language.

We are going to examine both the theory and the practice of poetry, in the process of making poetry together and honing it to its own characteristic excellence.

Required Texts:

Harold Bloom: The Best Poems of the English Language: From Chaucer Through Robert Frost.
Harper Perennial, 2007
William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
--The Sonnets
Clement Wood: Complete Rhyming Dictionary and Poets' Craft Book

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Honors status

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