Join me for
The Art of Imitation: Using the Works of Master Poets to Explore and Develop Craft
6/13/2016—8/8/2016 (no class Monday 4th July) | Monday | 6:00-8:00 p.m.
The painters and sculptors of the Renaissance began their careers as apprentices, copying the work of master artists before attempting their own work. This class takes this concept as its starting point and is a combination of writing, discussion, sharing and serious play. While every poem has its own formal imperatives, imitating another poet’s strategies allows us to practice technique and gain insights into the relationship of form and content. What, for example, can we learn about tone and pacing by imitating the syllable count, line length, rhyme and punctuation pattern of Masefield’s “Up On the Downs”? When we imitate the syntactical and grammatical moves in a poem by Eamon Grennan, what do we discover about narrative suspension and lyric depth? Weekly discussion of two/three poems will allow you choose one poem and isolate two or more of the strategies you would like to imitate; weekly in-class writing will generate new material to use in your imitations; and because learning poems by heart is yet another way of embodying language, you will be encouraged to memorize a poem of at least twenty lines to recite during our last meeting. Weekly reading will come from Master Class: Lessons from Leading Writers.