The Craft of Poetry

W383 — Spring 2020

Catherine Bowman
Days and Times
2:30-3:45 TR
Course Description

This is a class for emerging poets and for anyone that wishes to explore the “oldest art.” In this class we will read ancient texts and more recent experimental forms. We will experiment with the traditional fixed forms of poetry such as the sonnet and the sestina. We will discuss aspects of how a poem begins and how it makes its way down the page to closure. We will explore diction, syntax, the line, tone and rhythm. We will look at literary lineages, poetic schools and communities, aesthetic and cultural values embodied in poems past and present, the art of translation, poets and painters, poets and musicians, visual forms of poetry, publication and what’s going on in the poetry world today. You will keep a creative journal. There will be lots of in-class writing, craft assignments and response papers. You will also write and revise your own poems. We will watch some films and look at some art. While this is not a workshop, there will be occasions where we will share our poems in class and offer our responses to the work. We will read several poetry collections and essays on craft and poetics mostly by poets.