Thursday, May 19, 2011


Writing Poetry
Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
KH 207
Sophia Kartsonis

Various online poems. Please have a printout available for days we are discussing them.
Optional: Rhyme’s Reason by John Hollander.
Available online at Amazon for a song.

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.

M 16 Introduction. Discussion of James Dickey's Falling
Assignment: Your own poem inspired by a news piece or fairytale or myth.
T: 17 Ekphrasis Assignment: Go to museum, select a piece of art and jot down a minimum of 25 concrete words about it. Write a poem using as many of the words as you and assonance, alliteration, consonance, a simile and/or a metaphor.
W: 18 Workshop of News poems.
H 19: Discussion of Auden and your ekphrasis poems.
Homework: Write a poem based on negation. Read Free Verse: Frank O’Hara:
Fun to Browse through online (Poet Among Painters)
In-Class Writing.

F 20: Poetic Terms. Discussion of blank verse and free verse. Voices and Visions Robert Frost. In-Class Writing.
Homework: Bring in some song lyrics that you consider to be a poem or to be poetic. If possible, bring us the means to hear or play the song, as well as access to the lyrics on the page. (You can use the computer and projector so as to save the environment some grief.) Anyway, using your new shiny terms of poetry, talk about how and why this piece strikes you as poetic.
M 23: Discussion of song lyrics and verse. Introduction to Formal Verse.
Homework: Write a sonnet, villanelle or sestina. Bring in enough copies for the class.
T 24 workshop formal poems Possible Hart Crane video.
homework: Begin to think about your long poem. (Two pages or so.)
W 25 Discussion: The Long Poem Hart Crane, Walt Whitman, Eliot Khalil Wilson, Taij Silverman
H 26 Workshop of your long poems.
F 22 Your rewrites are due. A significant rewrite of four of the poems you've done for class.
Two-Day Caesura


  1. I found this link with poetry vocabulary that I just wanted to share, thought it may be helpful. Lisa