English | Writing Poetry 2
W614 | 16104 | Manning

1:00p – 2:15p TR


In his commentary on Love's Labour's Lost, Northrup Frye says
language is Shakespeare's ultimate subject.  The implication is that
at some level, all writing becomes aware of its debt to language,
and thus is always engaged in the further exploration of language.
It is an endeavor, as Shakespeare demonstrates, that always yields
utter delight.  So, we'll start with the old bard and focus our
thoughts over the semester on language, its astounding possibilities
and magic.  We'll read Love's Labour's Lost, maybe another play, a
collection of Wallace Stevens (one American poet of fairly recent
times who really does something special with language), and the
poems and prose of Gerard Manley Hopkins.  Hopkins is included for
his dynamism, but also his prose, which offers a sensitive, but bold
response to the process of writing and the mind at work.  In
addition to writing one exciting poem after another, I'd like
students to keep a writer's notebook.  This will be a chance for you
to record and share your aesthetic musings—How do I think about
simile?  Is Stevens making the mind into a symbol?  How so?  Why do
I dislike the poetry of so-and-so?—in order to articulate the things
that run through your writer's mind.  Fun is promised all around.