The Whole Poem

Instructor: Neil Shepard | Type: Poetry, 6 weeks

June 3, 10, (no class 17), 24 and July 1, 8, 15 | Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

From first draft to final draft, we require strategies for seeing the whole poem, both its full potential for content and its most satisfying form. We require, as Charles Olson said, the intense perception of the first draft – to “see” not only the spark but all of the light that makes a poem glow. Then we need to “re-see” the poem, practicing the kind of deep revision that leads us to reconsider everything from word choice and vivid image to metaphoric subtext, grammatical pattern, and inner music of the poem. We’ll use poems from literary magazines to examine specific technical issues, but we’ll use your own poems as the focus and force of workshop discussion. In addition, we’ll consider writing exercises that might steer you toward new strategies and discoveries in making a poem.

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