MWF 10:30-11:20 am
Cross-listed with ENGL 390CX.
In this course we will study the traditional craft of verse, reading sonnets, ballads, villanelles, verse riddles and epigrams from the Renaissance to the present day. While the course will focus mainly on metrical verse technique, we will also consider syllabic verse and free verse. In the second half of the semester we will look at how strong poems evolve from a poet’s initial vision to first draft to final shape. Reading the early drafts of poems by Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop and others, we will see what we can learn about poetic revision from expert practitioners.
Students will write critical explications of poems and try their hands at a variety of verse forms. The goal will be to figure out from the inside how particular forms, meters and stanzas work, expanding the toolkit of techniques available for future writing. Seminar members will have the opportunity to revise their creative and critical work for a final portfolio.
Texts will include All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing: An Explanation of Meter and Versification by Timothy Steele, De/Compositions: 101 Good Poems Gone Wrong by W.D. Snodgrass, and an anthology of poems.