Section 001 / Spring 2004 / Susan Tichy

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susan tichy
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All schedules are subject to change, but here's what we're aiming for.

 Please e-mail your poem for discussion by Sunday evening

It is your responsibility to check this page and the UPDATES page at least twice weekly. I will sometimes send e-mail messages regarding updates, but you should check even if you have not heard from me. You are expected to come to class prepared.

You will notice that some weeks have little scheduled. When teaching this workshop I like to leave room to respond to the needs and nature of the group. We'll talk in class about what to do in those weeks, but you should also watch the Updates page.

Readings from the Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry (MAP) are linked to poem lists on a separate page. You will find some of those lists to be very long. For each week's work, read quickly through as many poems as you can, then choose about ten to go back to and read more carefully. Choose poems that exemplify the issue at hand in different ways, and/or poems from different decades, by poets of different ages and backgrounds. Make notes, including questions, find poems that exemplify or seem to contradict points in the prose reading, and be ready to discuss these poems in class.

Other books are abbreviated, below,  PD (Poetry Dictionary) & EF (An Exultation of Forms). In the Poetry Dictionary, begin each week's browsing with the most general entries. These sometimes include quick definitions of more specific terms which I have not listed separately. For example, the entry for "Stanza" lists 2-line stanza forms, 3-line stanza forms, etc., which you can then look up individually by name.

Where appropriate, I have provided links to my Bouncing Off Walls pages of writing exerciese, and to web pages I have created for other courses.

Week 1: Jan 23 & 25:

Week 2: Jan 30 & Feb 1: The Line in Free Verse

Be prepared to discuss use of the line in free verse, including enjambed vs. phrasal lines, transformations of meaning across a line break, how lines can control sequence of disclosure in building images or delivering narrative, creation of internal rhythms in longer lines vs. interruptions and overlays of counterpointed rhythms in short lines, and how to avoid writing chopped up prose.

Workshop: Free Verse poems

In your first portfolio, you will need to turn in two free verse poems using the line in markedly different ways.

MAP: Uses of the Line

PD: "Prose, Free Verse, & Metrical Verse," Stichic, Line, Line Break, Free Verse, End-Stop, Enjambment, Triadic Line

EF: Free Verse, Organic Verse (in section IV)

Suggested exercise: Counterpoint: Working with Line in the Bouncing off Walls pages.

Here is a short discussion of line break in a couple of short poems by William Carlos Williams and James Scully. And here are some notes on the use of line in Auden's "Musée des Beaux Arts."

Week 3: Feb 6 & 8: Accentual & Syllabic Meters

Be prepared to discuss counting syllables vs. counting beats: syllabic & accentual meters.

Workshop: Syllabic & Accentual poems

In your first portfolio, you will need to turn in both a syllabic poem and an accentual poem.

MAP: Syllabics, Accentual

PD: Accentual Meter, Syllabic Meter, Sapphics, Alliterative Meter

EF: Accentual Verse, Syllabics

Suggested exercises: Measuring the Line, Quantitative Syllabics:
Working with Line.

Week 4: Feb 13 & 15: Accentual-Syllabic Meter

Be prepared to discuss accentual-syllabic meter. We will focus on iambic & trochaic.

Workshop: Iambic poems

In your first portfolio, you will need to turn in an unrhymed iambic or trochaic poem.

FUSSELL: Part One: Meter. We will spend about half our class time this week discussing this reading & learning to scan.

MAP: Meter & Line Length

PD: Meter, Prosody, Accentual-Syllabic Meter, Foot/Feet, Iamb, Trochee, Anapest, Dactyl, Anacrusis, Catalexis, Blank Verse, Caesura

EF: Iambic Meter, Blank Verse
If you are fairly comfortable with iambic meter, you may want to read about other meters, as well. Many resources are available in EF & PD. If you are still struggling with the basics of meter, I recommend you concentrate on figuring out how to recognize and work with iambic and its variants before you venture further.

Suggested exercises: Measuring the Line, two iambic exercises:
Working with Line

A more advanced discussion of meter and scansion may be found here on a page from my ENGL 564: Form of Poetry course, or on this page, which shows the scansion of several poems, including Yeats, H.D., and Eliot.

Week 5: Feb 20 & 22: Rhyme & Sound
Annotated Poems #1-2 due at start of class on Thursday Feb 22.

Be prepared to discuss rhyme & sound, to chant the vowel scale, and write some rhyme chains.

Everyone should do the exercise "Idea to Ear & Back Again" and bring the resulting poem to class for workshop.

Workshop: Finish up with metrical poems from the last two weeks, then look at results of the "Idea to Ear and Back Again."

MAP: Rhyme & Sound

PD: Poems listed in my e-mail of Feb 16

CLASS HANDOUT: Rhyme tables sent by e-mail Feb 16


Week 6: Feb 27: Stanza Form

Be prepared to discuss
stanza forms & rhyme.

No workshop this week.

FUSSELL: Part Two: Stanza Form

MAP: Rhyme & Sound, Couplets, Quatrains, Sonnets, Other Stanza Forms

PD: Stanza, Strophe, Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Couplet, Heroic Couplet, Tercet, Quatrain, Ballad Stanza, Blues, etc., Sonnet

EF: Sonnet, Heroic Couplet, Quatrain

A few more sonnets, with brief discussion notes may be found here.

And on my page of writing exercises, in "More Sound & Rhyme Exercises" you'll find some that help you write rhymed stanzas.

Week 7: March 6 & 8: More Eyes & More Ears

Continue discussion of sound, rhyme, shape.

Workshop: Rhymed poems, stanzaic or otherwise.

In your first portfolio, you will need to turn in both a rhymed stanzaic poem and a poem using rhyme in some other manner.

Rhyme & Sound
PD: Villanelle, Sestina, Pantoum, Ghazal, Burns Stanza
EF: Sonnet, Heroic Couplet, Quatrain, Folk Ballad, Blues & any other entries in Parts II & III that interest you.

Week 8: March 13 & 15: Spring Break: No Class

Week 9: March 20 & 22: Open Workshop

Portfolio #1 due at start of class on Tuesday March 20.

All Workshop this week: A poem of your choice, any form.

Start portfolio conferences.

Handed out in class: "Developing Content". Sign up for presentation next week on Tuesday or Thursday.

Week 10: March 27 & 29: Presentations on Poems

Finish portfolio conferences. Sign up for<><> workshop next Thursday or the following Tuesday.

In class this week, each of you will present a discussion of a poem, focusing on how the poem develops, line by line.

Study the poems annotated on the handout and complete the reading in EF, noted below. Then prepare a discussion of a poem of your choice, focusing on how it develops, line by line. If the poem is long, prepare a few comments on its overall development and structure, then focus the rest of your discussion on a selected passage. Be sure to bring copies of the poem to class, enough for all.

Depending on the poem selected, you may be dealing with the sequence of images, the development of narrative, sensibility of the speaker, associative development of metaphor & metonymy, or other issues. You may also need to address how form advances the development of content.

EF: Organic Form, Fractal Form
PD: Narrative, Dramatic Monologue, Voice

Poems in either of those sections of EF would be interesting to discuss. Or you may want to search for poems in the MAP anthology listed under Image, Metaphor, Poems about Family, Occasion, Narratie & Narrative Lyric, Poetry as Speech/Speech as Form.

Week 11: April 3 & 5: Revision & Workshop

Annotated Poems #3-6 due at start of class on Tuesday, April 3.

If your poem will be workshopped on Thursday, it is due by e-mail no later than Tuesday midnight (April 3). Poems to be workshoped next Tuesday will be due on Sunday evening, as usual.

Tuesday: lecture/discussion on revision.

Thursday: workshop a new or revised poem

Week 12: April 10 & 12: Workshop & "Constrained" Writing Operations

Tuesday:  workshop a new or revised poem

Thursday: lecture/discussion on collage and "constrained" writing operations. In-class writing.

Reading for Thursday:

PD: Chance Poetry, Oulipo, Cento

EF: Beyond Found Poetry, Procedural Poetry

This page of Notes on Collage

My page of Writing Operations
Please read through all the exercises described. For your final portfolio you will need a poem written using a collage technique. Choose from Fair Flow'rs Among the Weeds, Cut-Ups, Pulled Text: Make Your Own System, Exquisite Corpse Cut-Up Collaboration

MAP: Marianne Moore: An Octopus 264, Marriage 256 / Robert Hayden: Middle Passage 691 / Charles Henri Ford: Flag of Ecstasy 707 / Susan Howe: Hope Atherton's Wanderings 1036 / Paul Violi: Index 1093 / Ron Silliman: from Ketjak 1098 / Harryette Mullen: from Trimmings 1187, from S*Perm**K*T 1188

Poems by Harryette Mullen, w/ notes http://www.temple.edu/chain/2_mullen.htm

Week 13: April 17 & 19: Workshop

Annotated Poems #7-10 due at start of class.

Tuesday & Thursday: Workshop a new or revised poem.

In class, we will discuss the process for critique of your final portfolios. You will be responsible for oral critique on every portfolio discussed. You will write critiques for two portfolios.

So, come prepared to say whose portfolios you would most like to write on (1st, 2nd, 3rd choices), and I will try to honor your wishes when making assignments.

Week 14: April 24 & 26:

Tuesday: workshop a new or revised poem.

Copies of poems for class critique (Section 2 of your final portfolio) are due (in hard copy) on Thursday, April 26, at the start of class. Do not come late to class and expect to turn in your portfolio.

Week 15: May 1 & 3:
In-class critique of portfolios.

Final portfolio (one copy, to me) due on Thursday May 3.

Written critiques for each portfolio are due on the day that portfolio is discussed . Do not come late and do not ask to turn in your critique late. Late critiques will not be accepted.

May 3 (Thursday) is the last day to turn in notes on poetry readings and the last day to turn in any other lingering work, such as annotations I asked you to revise.

This course has no final exam. We will meet on our exam date only if we have not finished critique of the final portfolios.