This class will use easy-to-follow examples from famous poetry to help you learn how to improve your own work. We will break things down to show how to listen to a poem's rhythms and how to rhyme in ways that enhance your poetry without making it sound stilted. The emphasis will be on writing a few short verses of quality. If you have ever felt confused by all the different meters and rhyme schemes or poetic devices like metaphors, you will discover that it really is within your capacity to understand and use in your own writing.
The class will run for four weeks and will include seven one hour chats and seven activities, though not every activity will be a written assignment.
In the first week you will read a few famous poems in order to learn about the most-used meters, and we will use those examples as models while learning about terms like anapestic and iambic feet. Your first written assignment will be to write simple one verse poems using the most frequently used meters.
In the second week, after you have had instructor feedback on your work, we will discuss problems students encountered while writing and review the concepts of meter now that you have hands on experience. We will then read some well-known poems for rhyme and discuss rhyme schemes.
After advice on how to make your rhymes sound natural, you will compose simple one verse poems using a couple different rhyme schemes.
In the third week, after you have had individual feedback on your rhyming verses, we will discuss any problems you encountered and the instructor will share tips on tools you can use to avoid those problems. You will then write slightly longer verses that combine meter and rhyme with an emphasis on making your work sound natural, unforced and original.
In the final week we will introduce some basic poetic devices into your writing. Again, using examples from familiar poems, we will learn about alliteration, personification, similes and metaphors and as a final assignment you will write a short poem that uses meter, rhyme and at least one poetic device. As always, you will receive individual feedback and help improving your verses.
|About The Instructor:
Brooke Baldwin received her education from Smith and her M.A. from Yale, she focused on essay writing. Her master's degree is in American Studies, which includes American literature. While a graduate student, she served as a teaching assistant in several writing-intensive sections of American Studies classes. For over twenty years she taught writing at the middle and high school level.
As a grad student, she had several articles published in academic journals. She has published articles and pamphlets about the anti-apartheid movement. She joined Fan Story as adewpearl in August, 2008 and became the site's second ranked poet that year. In 2009 she became poet of the year.