Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Syllabus as Jumble or My Love/Hate Relationship with Planning

 Before I actually have to start crossing stuff off on old syllabi and typing in new information and inculcating the new template and finding the page numbers of poems, making a syllabus is fun. I'm going to try using The Poet's Companion this semester. It has a nice approachable tone and such good, succinct discussions of things like image and metaphor and repetition, although maybe I'm not so interested in teaching "Writing the Erotic" or "Self-Doubt," things I feel students can experience on their own. 

Things are slowly coming together and I'm feeling zippy about having a visiting poet in October. Here are some of my early notes that might be folded in (if the syllabus were souffle--but then you really couldn't say "subject to change").

--Iris’s html poem
--Neruda--tone, line, image
Sexton--allusion, narrative, tone
Plath--tone, image
Ryan--compression, rhyme
a chapter of triggering town?
Roethke--sound, tone, suggest rather direct
Moore--sound, shape, line break
exercise with poem--assign points to image as it is more descriptive, apt, unusual
--Week 1--short class--poems to read--freewrite on place--place as homework assignment Place is landscape!! what is landscape supposed to convey. read a little? landscape as backdrop? colors and forms to mimic mood? pastoral--reaching back to a “golden age”, escape from realism; rural/urban? WHAT KIND of landscape?
--Week 2--Post it poem exercise--words--exchange--color, emotion attached to color attached to story of why that emotion? what else?
--Week 4?--Material--their material--they have to bring in a piece of material--how is it, how it can be amended. Then words--how is it, how it can be amended. Here is the piece of glass, how can I amend paragraph, description of object, description of process, how has it flown like a bird to something new? Is the poem the process or the new bird?
--more on reading work aloud
--Websites--still that old one, Blackbird, Ante, very different those two, maybe the oldster PSA or something. Make listing on syllabus.
All about the word
    • sound as unit and line
    • tone/diction/complexity
    • as related to images of the world
    • patterned
    • how does a white space hush my mouth

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