English | Writing Poetry 2
W614 | 13013 | Manning

W614  13013  MANNING
Writing Poetry 2

2:30p – 5:30p T


This will be a standard poetry workshop for MFA students.  We will
begin the semester with hands-on activities to demonstrate the
practical value of understanding English grammar and to reveal the
pleasing “logic” of carefully organized rhetorical structure.  As a
guide through our re-acquaintance with grammar and rhetoric, we’ll
read and discuss Milton’s so-called “minor poems.”  Despite Milton’s
age—he’s 400—and the perception that his work his overly stiff and
stately, his verse is full of whimsy and passion and surprise, an
insuppressible impulse for lyric utterance.  Over the semester we’ll
investigate the role of lyricism in poetic composition—what it is,
and how it effectively rears its head in poems that have an
ostensibly narrative premise.  To aid such discussion we’ll read a
new translation of Sappho, and newer collections by Rodney Jones,
Louise Gluck, and by Gerald Stern and Seamus Heaney, both of whom
will be visiting IU in the spring.  For each workshop meeting,
students will write one poem and provide written, constructive
critiques of their peers’ poems.  A portfolio of drafts and revised
poems will be due at the end of the semester.