Module Identifier ENM5220  
Module Title WRITING POETRY 1: RHYMES AND REASONS  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Tiffany S Atkinson  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   5 X 2-HOUR SEMINARS  
Assessment
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Students will produce a portfolio of poetry in three of the modes discussed, together with an accompanying explanatory/evaluative commentary. Total length 4000 words, of which a minimum of 1000 words and a maximum of 2000 words should be commentary. 100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected.100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate, in both creative and evaluative writing, an awareness of a range of poetic practices;

2. Demonstrate, in critical prose, an awareness of their own writing processes;

3. Demonstrate, by the revision of work previously discussed in workshops, an ability to improve their writing in response to criticism.

Aims

This module aims to increase students' awareness of the possibilities available to poets writing today, and thus to expand the range of their poetic practice.

Brief description

The module will be workshop-based; discussion of students' own writing will be a principal feature of each seminar. Students will produce examples of writing in each of five different poetic modes, and will read a range of poems by modern and contemporary poets which use those modes.

Content

Session 1. The Formal Poem.
Students will be asked to write a poem using either a traditional form (sonnet, villanelle, blank verse etc), or less orthodox formal constraints (syllabics, half-rhymes, patterns of alliteration etc). Discussion will focus on the possibilities of an `outside-in' approach to poetry, which works from form to content rather than vice versa. Examples will be taken from modern and contemporary poets who have worked in orthodox forms (eg, Larkin, Heaney) and less orthodox ones (eg, Marianne Moore, Muldoon).

Session 2. The Imagistic Poem.
Students will be asked to write a poem based on images rather than narrative or argument. Discussion will focus on the show-don'r-tell approach to poetry and its roots in Imagism. Examples may include the Imagists, William Carlos Williams and the various interpretations of haiku.

Session 3. The Narrative Poem.
Students will be asked to write a poem which tells a story. Discussion will focus on the narrative potential of poetry and the differences between poetic and prose narrative. The dramatic monologue will also be covered. Examples may include Frost, Auden and contemporary exponents such as Armitage and Duffy.

Session 4. The Self-Reflexive Poem.
Students will be asked to write a poem which explores its own textuality. Discussion will focus on the postmodern interest in reflexive forms and its relation to critical theory. Examples of self-reflexive poetry may include work by Wallace Stevens and W.S. Graham, as well as recent British and American poetry in the postmodern tradition.

Session 5. The Poetic Sequence.
Students will be asked to write a short sequence of poems. Discussion will focus on the different sequential structures available to poets and the way individual poems can change when brought into proximity with others. Examples of sequences may range from Yeats's Crazy Jane poems and `Meditations in Time of Civil War' to Berryman's Dream Songs and looser sequences such as Plath's bee poems.

Module Skills

Problem solving Problems of writing technique will arise and be dealt with in seminars and assessments  
Research skills Research is an essential part of the assessments  
Communication Interaction in group discussion will be essential to the seminars  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be expected to improve their work in response to criticism from the tutor and other students  
Team work See 3  

Reading Lists

Books
No set texts, but students will receive an advisory reading list.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7