Form and Theory of Poetry

This course is for developing writers of poetry and for those who love poetry and want to learn how to get the most from reading it. Poetry at its best can be one of the most powerful and illuminating art forms; at its worst it can be criminally self-centered and irrelevant. This course is about poetry at its best. The course is not easy; much will be expected from every student. But for those who want to learn something about real art and the practice of writing poetry, it will be illuminating.

This class is primarily a reading and discussion course, in which questions are valued more than conclusions and opinions. Do not enroll unless you are seriously interested in reading poets and poetry.

Students will write an e-letter to the class every week. The final grade will be based on the weekly e-letters, the midterm and the final: each about 30%. To get a superior grade, students will have to make significant contributions to the class discussion. Attendance is mandatory.