Creative Writing: Introduction to Poetry
This course introduces poets to various poetic forms, ideas and practices. It is targeted to young and aspiring poets, who want to explore the craft and habits of writing poetry. In the course, you will write, read, memorize and offer feedback on poems. A central component for this course will be the writers workshop. During this time, the class will offer thoughtful and constructive feedback on one another’s poems. Many of the poems will be read in-advance, with written comments. This will help to accommodate engaging and lively discussion of yours and your peers’ poems. Further details on the practices and etiquette for the workshop are discussed later in the syllabus and in-class, throughout the term. To begin exploring the variety of poetic expression, we will explore poetry forms and techniques, both contemporary and traditional. Although by no means comprehensive, this wide-ranging discussion aims to introduce you to otherwise unexplored means of expression. This course will address such poetic forms as the prose poem, the sonnet, haiku, ghazel and others. It will also discuss techniques and technical elements such as imagery, symbolism, metaphor, narrative, lineation, scansion and others. You will be asked to identify and practice these forms and techniques during the course of the term. These and other conversations will be prompted by our two primary texts for the class. Both books offer students concise discussions of form, technique and creative strategies. You will also be asked to respond to the ideas and poems from these books. As poetry is a craft and practice, this course will also ask students to begin developing writerly habits. Some of these have already been addressed: reading, writing and responding to poems. In addition, students will produce regular journals and be required to memorize and recite a poem. These activities help to emphasize the benefit of regular engagement with the visual, physical and auditory required in writing poems.