your homework for week 9

Posted in weekly assignments on October 27th, 2011 and

WEEK 9—26 Oct Poems About the Self and the World

 I am looking for a poem that says Everything so I don’t have to write anymore.

–Tukaram

Please read the following poems for next week: John Berryman, “Dream Song 14,” Charles Bukowski, “Startled Into Life Like Fire,” Mark Strand, “Old Man Leaves Party,” Edgar Allen Poe, “Alone,” Charles Simic, “Carrying on like a Crow,” Alice Notley, “from Eurynome’s Sandals,” Dolly Lemke, “I never went to that movie at 12:45,” Jill Alexander Essbaum, “Apologia,” David Clewell, “This Poem Had Better Be about the World We Actually Live In,” Walt Whitman, “from Song of Myself (1 and 52),” Frank O’Hara, “Ave Maria,” Allen Ginsberg, “America.”

Please give each poem its due, but choose at least one (preferably more) to read closely, revisit through the week, meditate upon. Pay attention to its formal elements as well as what it says. How do these poems reflect upon life and comment upon the relationship between self and the world? What conflicts are present? What is the mood and how is it communicated through sound and imagery? Do these poems offer something new to your own thoughts and experiences? What in these readings do you admire, marvel at, puzzle out? Be prepared to discuss your reactions in class.

Discover and post a poem. Read and respond to your peers’ work.

Also, please respond in a comment to the peer critique you received. Explain how the critique was helpful, ask any further questions about your writing, and describe what was most illuminating about the critique, helping you understand something about your writing differently.

 

homework for week 8

Posted in weekly assignments on October 20th, 2011 and

WEEK 8—19 Oct  Death Poems

“Poetry began in the matriarchal age, and derives its magic from the moon, not from the sun. No poet can hope to understand the nature of poetry unless he has had a vision of the Naked King crucified to the lopped oak, and watched the dancers, red-eyed from the acrid smoke of the sacrificial fires, stamping out the measure of the dance, their bodies bent uncouthly forward, with a monotonous chant of “Kill! kill! kill!” and “Blood! blood! blood!”

Robert Graves, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth

Cultivate your vision of moon-magic, the dead and resurrected god, ecstatic dancers, blood, and death.

Please read the following poems for next week: e.e. cummings, “Buffalo Bill’s,” Robinson Jeffers, “Vulture,” Christina Rossetti, “Song,” James Tate, “Depression,” Billy Collins, “Grave,” D.H. Lawrence, “Bavarian Gentians,” Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Spring and Fall,” Robert Frost, “To Earthward,” Thom Gunn, “In Time of Plague,” W.H. Auden, “[Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone],” Seamus Heaney, “Mid-Term Break,” Jane Kenyon, “Let Evening Come,” Ben Jonson, “On My First Son,” W.H. Auden, “In Memory of W.B. Yeats,” and Emily Dickinson, “I Died for Beauty—but was scarce.”

Please give each poem its due, but choose at least one (preferably more) to read closely, revisit through the week, meditate upon. Pay attention to its formal elements as well as what it says about death. How do these poems reflect upon life and comment upon the relationship between life and death, the dead and the living? What is the mood and how is it communicated through sound and imagery? Do these poems offer something new to your own thoughts and experiences? What in these readings do you admire, marvel at, puzzle out? Be prepared to discuss your reactions in class.

Discover and post a death poem. Read and respond to your peers’ work.

 

your homework for week 7-13 October

Posted in weekly assignments on October 13th, 2011 and

Creative Writing—Queens College—Fall 2011

 

WEEK 7—13 Oct  Love Poems

 If you know what you are going to write when you’re writing a poem, it’s going to be average.

–Derek Walcott

The above epigraph reflects what we discussed yesterday about inspiration and discovery, allowing your poem to find and guide you rather than being the boss of the poem. Experiment with discovering your poem rather than writing it.

Please print out the poetry packets in their entirety and read the following poems for next week: Raymond Carver, “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” W.B. Yeats, “Her Triumph,” Ezra Pound, “The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter,” Robert Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays,”Anna Akhmatova, “N.V.N.,” Christopher Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress,” Emily Dickinson, “Wild Nights—Wild Nights” and “The Soul Selects Her Own Society,” Theodore Roethke, “My Papa’s Waltz,” Allen Ginsberg, “A Supermarket in California,” T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Adrienne Rich, “Two Songs,” and Sharon Olds, “Sex Without Love.”

Please give each poem its due, but choose at least one (preferably more) to read closely, revisit through the week, meditate upon. Pay attention to its formal elements as well as what it says about love. What is the kind of love being described? How is it rendered differently or similarly to other sentiments about love that have moved you in the past? Does it offer something new to your own thoughts and experiences? What is it about this poem that you admire, marvel at, puzzle out? Be prepared to discuss your reactions to this poem in class.

Discover and post a love-poem. Read and respond to your peers’ work.

Your extended critiques (to be posted on your peers’ blogs) are due next week.

 

2 packets of poetry

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13th, 2011 and

about class tomorrow…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 11th, 2011 and

So, I thought if I’m going to torture you with this week’s assignment, I should taste my own medicine. My first effort at a sonnet was a total humiliation, and here’s my humble villanelle:

October Villanelle

 

Good thing pen and paper are always here in bed.

After a sleep hard and somber as bone,

Dim morning washes nightmares from my head.

 

I’ve heard the hour before dawn likened to lead.

Thereon I scratch weak words all to atone—

Good thing pen and paper are always here in bed.

 

Heat water for tea and then toast some bread;

Glance at computer screen and check my phone.

Dim morning washes nightmares from my head.

 

Leaves that now are so bright will soon be dead;

October maiden must become the crone.

Good thing pen and paper are always here in bed.

 

Not one thing I’ve accomplished, created, read

Could have prepared me for when glory’d gone.

Dim morning washes nightmares from my head,

 

But it’s dreams I want to lose in their stead;

There’s no disaster in being alone.

Good thing pen and paper are always here in bed.

Dim morning washes nightmares from my head.

 

Feel free to comment on it if you like. And PLEASE print out your poems and bring them to class tomorrow–we’re going to spend more time with them.

 

who critiques who…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 9th, 2011 and

Hi Everyone. Here are the assignments for who critiques who. I’ve tried to take everyone’s preferences into consideration, and I think this will work out well. There’s a complete description of the “Extended Critique” assignment posted on this site under “pages,” but I would like to add that your first poems should be critiqued as well as all the creative non-fiction pieces. Your critique should be submitted as a comment on your author’s blog, and of course each author can respond to the critique, too. If anyone has questions about the assignment, please post it as a comment to this post so that everyone might have the benefit of further clarification. Ok, here goes:

Billy critiques Rafal

Candice–>Richard

Catherine–>Michelle

Erin–>Samantha

Jamie–> Julie

Jenn–>Jamie

Julie–>Prudence

Kathleen–> Madison

Madison–>Catherine

Margarita–>Monica

Michelle–>Kathleen

Monica–>Jenn

Olivia–>Steve

Prudence–>Olivia

Rachel–>Billy

Rafal–>Margarita

Richard–>Erin

Saadya–>Candice

Samantha–>Saadya

Steve–>Rachel

 

poems to read for week 6

Posted in readings on October 7th, 2011 and

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Posted in readings on October 6th, 2011 and

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homework week 6

Posted in weekly assignments on October 6th, 2011 and

Creative Writing—Queens College—Fall 2011

WEEK 6—5 SEP  Poetry as Bound Speech

 Poetry isn’t made of ideas, but words.

                                                             —Stéphane Mallarmé

Read the poems provided and prepare to discuss them in class using the following vocabulary: sonnet, villanelle, stanza, meter, rhyme, rhythm, scansion, alliteration, off-rhyme, assonance, consonance, onomatopoeia, prosody, simile, metaphor, allusion, trope, image, symbol. I have provided brief glosses of these words in the reading entitled, “Poetry jargon,” but you may want to do further internet research. Also develop opinions about what each poem says or means, and to what degree you appreciate both what it says and how it says it.

Choose one poem, either one written by a classmate or one I’ve provided, and analyze it closely, preparing an interpretation of what the poem means, how well the form adheres to a strict structure, and what in the poem is effective or moving.

Write a poem of your own using formal elements of the kind displayed  in these poems. You may wish to write a sonnet or a villanelle, but you should be prepared to explain how your poem uses formal elements and/or departs from them. Please post your poem either as a blog-post or as a page on your blog. Spend some time reading through and commenting on the work of your peers. Bring your poem in hard-copy to class next week if you would.

Please consider the pros and cons of writing in bound speech. I’d like to discuss these in class.

 

homework week 4

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22nd, 2011 and

Creative Writing—Queens College—Fall 2011

 WEEK 4—21 SEP The Particular and the Universal

The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it.

                                                                                                                                                       —Elizabeth Drew

We don’t meet for two weeks, and you have two larger writing assignments coming up (details posted on the blog under “pages”), so it may seem as though the homework assignment is lengthier than usual. Allow me to enumerate for you:

1) Read “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream,” by Joan Didion (an imperfect copy, I apologize, found on course blog).

2) By Wednesday 28 September, freewrite a comment in response to this post, considering the following questions: What is generalized in this piece and what specific details are given? What do you think “the golden dream” is, and how does this story illuminate that theme or idea? Is there something universal or broadly experienced communicated through this piece? What do you think of the writing itself?

3) Please write and post two more blog-entries, one by this Sunday and one by next Sunday. Read and respond to peers’ blog-posts!

4) Prepare portfolio i, as described, to be handed in when we meet next.

5) As soon as you can, and no later than Tuesday 27 September, email me the names of three classmates whose writing you would like to treat in your extended critique (details of this assignment posted seperately). I will do my best to accomodate your wishes, but everyone must be critiqued, so please accept your assignations with good spirit.

6) Bring one photocopied page of writing that you like, that you would wish to emulate, that you are open to being influenced by. We will discuss these in our next class before moving on to poetry.

7) Read, write, and live intensely.

 


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