Instructor: Cummins T/R 11:00am-12:20pm
Where does Form, as well as the individual forms, come from? What does the myth of Orpheus, the first poet, tell us about the power of poetry? Can a John Coltrane or a Nick Cave be considered a modern Orpheus? And when do forms become stale, overused to such an extent that they no longer conduct the all-too-human passions that created them to begin with? In the first half of this course we’ll study the process by which form emerges out of chaos in the explosion we call art; and in the second half we’ll consider the most popular individual forms in contemporary poetry (sonnet, villanelle, sestina, ballad, pantoum and ghazal) as well as “organic form,” nonce forms, light verse, and the metrical line. Requirements: attendance; midterm (take-home); portfolio of five poems in form (no prerequisite needed; you’ll surprise yourself).