Monday, March 26, 2007

Lesson Plan First Class

Lesson Plan: First Week Blue Begonia

  1. Video Preview
  2. Introductions
    1. Why are you here?
    2. An imitation poem

The Place I Dream of When I Dream of Home

Van Morrison’s On Hynford Street

Why I’m here—

“Poetry is a necessity as simple as the need to be touched and similarly a need that is hard to enunciate….The meaning of poetry is to give courage.”

“Rarely in ordinary conversation do people speak from the heart and mean what they say. How often in the past week did anyone offer you something from the heart? It’s there in poetry. Forget everything you ever read about poetry, it doesn’t matter—poetry is the last preserve of honest speech and the outspoken heart….all that matters to me now is directness and clarity and truthfulness.”

“Poetry is church.” --Garrison Keillor “Good Poems for Hard Times” Introduction.

Plus this—Perhaps

Half is writing it. Half is reading others work.

  1. Syllabus
  2. How to Read a Poem
  3. Blue Begonia Press Powerpoint
  4. Imitation Poem Reading

How to read a poem:

Find a place that’s quiet.

Read it through once to the end without worrying about the complexity.

Read it aloud.

Read it again with a pencil/pen.

Read the SENTENCES not the LINES.

Go back and look at the title.

What’s going on in the poem? Try to explain the poem like a story: Who is speaking? Where are they? What are they trying to say? What’s the situation? Try to paraphrase it.

Assume there’s a reason for everything.

Take the poem on its on terms. Adjust to the poem.

Is there a moment when the poem changes? A but or yet?

Now, if you think you’ve got most of it, try to find places that don’t fit or that you can’t see why the poet chose that word or image. Or where the pattern of the poem changes—maybe it’s a line break or a missing word, or a weird comparison.

Those are doors to bigger rooms.

Cracks and toe holds in the rock wall.

Let’s try one:

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