CREW 306: Writing/Reading Poetry
Course Convenor: Dr Helen Farish
Course Aims and Objectives:
This module will build on CREW 205 (Writing Poetry), deepening student engagement with both the writing and the reading process. Both closed and open forms will be explored through a wide-ranging selection of poems (all of which will be found in the set text for the course: The Making of a Poem (ed Boland and Strand). There will be particular emphasis on those forms regularly employed in a twentieth century and a contemporary context.
A portion of each seminar will be spent discussing the set poems for the week. Students will submit their own poems on a fortnightly basis. The dual assessment (a portfolio of students’ own poems plus a close reading of two of the syllabus poems) reflects the course emphasis on the inter-relationship between reading and writing.
1 x portfolio of 9 poems (80%); 1 x 1,500-word close reading of 2 syllabus poems (20%)
Submission Deadlines: Friday Week 2, Term 3, by 12 noon.
Contact: 2 hours per week.
By the end of the course students will have:
- encountered a variety of both closed and open poetic forms
- learnt about the history of the form as well as discussing its role in a contemporary context
- read and discussed a cross-section of examples from early usages to the present day
- improved their technique as writers of poetry – tightening editorial and redrafting skills, employing prosody to enable the replicating of certain forms
- responded to set texts orally (class discussion) and in writing (submitting poems for workshop)
- developed their close-reading skills
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms, ed Mark Strand & Eavan Boland (Norton, 2000)
Weekly Seminar Programme:
The Ballad (‘The Cherry-tree carol’ anonymous, ‘Sir Patrick Spens’ anonymous, ‘Death in Leamington’ John Betjeman, ‘Bagpipe Music’ Louis MacNiece, ‘We Real Cool’ Gwendolyn Brooks
The Pastoral (‘Loveliest of Trees’ A E Housman’, ‘Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota’ James Wright, ‘Midsummer, Tobago’ Derek Walcott, ‘Fog’ Amy Clampitt)
The Stanza (‘Easter Wings’ George Herbert, ‘They Flee from Me’ Thomas Wyatt, ‘The Convergence of the Twain’ Thomas Hardy, ‘I died for Beauty – but was scarce’ Emily Dickinson)
The Pastoral continued (‘The Bear’ Galway Kinnell, ‘Let Evening Come’ Jane Kenyon, ‘Smoke’ Philip Levine, ‘Mock Orange’ Louise Gluck, ‘The Broad Bean Sermon’ Les Murray)
The Stanza continued (‘A Quoi Bon Dire’ Charlotte Mew, ‘Not waving but drowning’ Stevie Smith, ‘Those Winter Sundays’ Robert Hayden, ‘Yes’ Muriel Rukeyser)
Independent study week
Blank Verse (‘from Beachy Head’ Charlotte Smith, ‘Ulysees’ Alfred Tennyson, ‘Rain’ Edward Thomas, ‘Directive’ Robert Frost)
Open Forms (‘The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock’ T S Eliot, ‘The Idea of Order at Key West’ Wallace Stevens, ‘Ave Maria’ Frank O’Hara, ‘Diving into the Wreck’ Adrienne Rich)
Open Forms (‘The Language of the Brag’ Sharon Olds, ‘The Colonel’ Carolyn Forche, ‘Reading Plato’ Jorie Graham, ‘move’ Lucille Clifton)
Back to: CREW 305
Forward to: ENGL 301