Goals of the course:

–To develop an understanding of the relationship between form and content in poetry. Even more crucially, we’ll see how poetic form shapes our perception of world, and vice versa. Forms are not simply rules; they also make meaning.

–To read and better understand many significant poems in the English, American, and Hawai`i traditions of poetry. This includes your ability to read poetry out loud.

–To listen to poets reading their own work and to discuss their performances. There are large archives on-line of poets reading their work; you don’t need to listen to everything, but listen to enough audio that you can get a sense of the poet’s voice, his or her attitude toward the words he or she writes.

–To learn to read poems well out-loud and to memorize a sonnet.

–To improve your skills of writing about poetry, as well as discussing it with your peers.

–To show you how to respond creatively to your reading of poetry.

–To have some serious fun.

Required books:

The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Ferguson, Salter, et al. 5th edition (This is an older edition than the $80 current one; trying to get the bookstore to order. Please don’t buy yet, because consistency of texts is crucial!)

The Teachers and Writers Handbook of Forms, by Ron Padgett

13 Ways of Looking at TheBus, by Gizelle Gajelonia