Friday, July 30, 2010

Weekend Assignment Reliquary Poem

Here are some step-by-step guidelines. Use them loosely. Feel free to look up Poem to Keep What I Love by Taij Silverman.

A fifty-line minimum poem (five ten line stanzas or ten fives or one big block or several haiku, or single lines threading out, or a mix.)

1. Use at least six lines of anaphora. (Lines that begin with the same word or phrase.)

2. Write one aphorism or false wisdom or proverb. Love is the wax museum the torches of time visit.

3. Use one proper noun or more.

4. Include one off-rhyme and one eye rhyme somewhere throughout the poem. You can use more. Eye-rhymes look to rhyme but don't. Stone/one Love/stove

5. Consider the use of quotes or bits of found information, quotes, song lyrics, instructions, facts about the thing or things of your poem.

Think of this poem as a keeping place for things that would otherwise be in the junk drawer of our lives. Consider the way Silverman uses it, the things we discussed about figures in history or film, our own cultures, crayon factories, etc.

Have it typed with copies for Monday.

Thanks and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Formal Poetry Assignment

Choose from a villanelle,
and write a poem.

For Justin: Write one of the forms you haven't used.
In addition, include two revisions and email them to me.
(I will count the work you gave me today and you will be done with your required coursework for the class. Do keep in touch. It's been wonderful having you in class(es).

Formal Poetry Assignment

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Look to:

The Diagram

Born Magazine

Poetry Daily

Verse Daily

and either in one of those locales or somewhere of your choosing (Literary anthologies, google searches on your favorite poet/poem) choose a poem to bring into class and discuss why you selected it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Using any element* of the objects you were given and beginning with one of these lines (though you can start with your own beginning instead, if you'd prefer) write a poem of ten lines or more.

The elements* of the objects can be anything from what they resemble in more "real" terms, to just a part of them: color or shape or taste or the concept behind them, the scene in which you might originally find them.

If there hadn't been _____________ we could recall____________

We asked of the _________ only this:

If the stars had asked us, we would have said

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another Example of the Historical/Fairytale Figure for Monday Night's Homework

Gretel in Darkness
This is the world we wanted.
All who would have seen us dead
are dead. I hear the witch's cry
break in the moonlight through a sheet
of sugar: God rewards.
Her tongue shrivels into gas . . .

Now, far from women's arms
and memory of women, in our father's hut
we sleep, are never hungry.
Why do I not forget?
My father bars the door, bars harm
from this house, and it is years.

No one remembers. Even you, my brother,
summer afternoons you look at me as though
you meant to leave,
as though it never happened.
But I killed for you. I see armed firs,
the spires of that gleaming kiln--

Nights I turn to you to hold me
but you are not there.
Am I alone? Spies
hiss in the stillness, Hansel,
we are there still and it is real, real,
that black forest and the fire in earnest.

Louise Gl├╝ck

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sarah Winchester Speaks
In 1884, rifle heir Sarah Winchester bought a six-room farmhouse in
California and began renovations designed to trap the vengeful spirits
she believed responsible for the deaths of her husband and daughter.
When she died in 1922, the Winchester Mystery House contained more
than 160 rooms and 40 staircases.

No one knew what haunted me:
soldiers bivouacking in the unfinished ballroom,
deer and buffalo stampeding parquet halls,
and every night my baby crying, always
from a different room. Choking on sawdust
and plaster, I drew stairs that stopped
at the ceiling, doors that opened
to blank walls or two-story drops, hallways
that doubled back. I gave my ghosts the best
of everything—Tiffany windows,
gold dinner service, thirteen-bulb chandeliers—
but couldn't put a single soul to rest
or rest myself. I died before I understood:
I haunted my house as much as they did.
William and the baby are waiting for me,
but I'm trapped by blind chimneys, skylights
stacked on top of each other, stairs I can't help
but climb, the maze I made to stay the dead.

Copyright © 2010 Carrie Shipers All rights reserved
from Ordinary Mourning

Homework Assignment 07/12 DUE with COPIES on Wednesday 07/14

Write a poem of twelve lines or more that employs
1. enjambment
2. off or slant rhyme
3. internal rhyme
4. alliteration
5. assonance
6. consonance

at least once (though more uses are fine) throughout the poem.

Write a poem that uses a place, city, town, house, etc. that has secrets (or one) that the speaker of the poem knows.


Downstream from where I washed my sister's
dress in the current, floated a body.
I had been there all day and it told
nothing to the rocks that shimmered
beneath its lips, and nothing to the sunlight
that danced its coded bleeps of glitter
borrowed from my patch of river
and moved along to the song
of dead girls and living girls
and the open rose of summer's beginning
as well as its close.
Writing Poetry 490B-01
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:30 a.m.-4:20 p.m.
Sophia Kartsonis

Text: Rhyme’s Reason by John Hollander. Available online at Amazon for a song. Find any edition in any (reasonable) condition you can and order it today.
For now the glossary of poetic terms gives a rough and simple set of tools.
Various online poems. Please have a printout available for days we are discussing them.

Course Policy
Because we are taking a fast train through the subject matter, as summer courses often require, attendance will be crucial. We will be reading a lot and dealing with that reading in class with writing assignments and activities.
You will be afforded one absence for reasons I will not need to know. I do not excuse any absence after that first one and if you accrue two absences (as the course is so short,) I will likely ask that you drop the course.

Tardies: After two you have an absence.

Grades: You will be graded heavily on class participation and attendance: (30%) Your written work will comprise 70% of your total grade. Perfect attendance does not mean that you have that 30% guaranteed. I expect lively discussions and real engagement with the topics. I hate to resort to pop quizzes, but if during discussion it becomes apparent that a few of us have done the reading and the rest are coasting, I will administer a quiz.

The written work will consist of some reading responses, many in-class exercises, and the “letters to the authors” and comments on workshop poems. Please be generous and thoughtful in your assessments and comments on other’s work.

Cell Phones: Please turn them off. Brain surgery can wait.

I am available to conference with you at any time throughout the course. Please contact me in class or through the email address and we can set a time to meet.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Writing Poetry Homework for Friday 07/16 & Monday 07/19

Reading Assignment: Read the following poems at least three times through. Be ready to discuss them. (Yes, quiz-ready.)

The Poet
Poetry by Pablo Neruda

Several Things by Martha Collins

Why I am not a Painter
My Heartby Frank O'Hara

Dear Reader by James Tate

Eating Poetry by Mark Strand

An Obsessive Combination... by Anne Sexton

The Writer by Richard Wilbur

Poetry by Marianne Moore
What does Marianne Moore mean when she says "I, too, dislike it" Be ready to discuss why she takes the pains to write a poem about not liking poetry. What makes a good poem and what makes poetry somewhat unlikeable to some.

Poem as a _____

Select from the following: Poem as a Machine, Poem as a Machete, Poem as an All-Purpose Cleanser, Poem as a Gyroscope, Poem as a Garden, Poem as a City, Poem as a Glass Cleaner, Poem as a New Math, Poem as a Recipe, Poem as a Guide for Installing Car Stereo Speakers, Poem as a Colorwheel, Poem as an Imaginary Travel Guide.

And write a poem, ten line minimum.
have it ready for class a week from Wednesday. (07/21)

Note: The poem is due, typed, with copies for everyone in class (including me)at the beginning of class on Wednesday 07/14. There will be one more assignment posted as your Monday homework (07/19). That assignment will also be due on Wednesday the 21st at the beginning of class.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Have a good weekend, Students My Students

O Me! O Life!
O ME! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me; 5
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
--Our old friend, Walt Whitman