2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

How Poetry Saves the World

Spring quarter

Faculty: Donald Foran English literature

Fields of Study: literature and writing

Spring: CRN (Credit) Level 30371 (16) Fr; 30373 (16) So - Sr; 30587 (1-16)  

Credits: 16(S)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmenFreshmen - Senior

Offered During: Day


How can poetry save the world? Poetry is "a thump to the TV set to restore the picture" and "a jolt to the fibrillating heart" according to Seamus Heaney. The metaphorical power of poetry can change our perspectives and move us to action. We learn from poets like Emily Dickinson and Claribel Alegria that "Much madness is divinest sense" and that those suffering violence have "earned the right to order us to break up our sleep . . . and shake off . . . this lassitude."  Poetry can serve as a lens through which we can understand cultural legacies and the invasion of cultures more clearly.  Economic, sexual and political minorities write poetry and "hold up a mirror to nature" through their poems.  For some, like Leonard Cohen, poetry helps us discern that "the blizzard of the world has overturned the order of the soul," yet "love's the only engine of survival." Many poets, like Hopkins, affirm that "nature is never spent," that "there lives the dearest freshness deep down things."  Thus poetry also has a role in fostering sustainability.

In this program students will study poems ancient and new, poems from many differing cultures and ethnicities. All will analyze and co-edit poems, write haiku and imagist poems, quatrains, heroic couplets, sonnets, terza rimas, villanelles, and poetry-based songs; they will also create their own free-style works. Finally, students will view poets reading their own works, benefit from guest poets' and songwriters' approaches writing, work on memorization and recitation, and explore how a "story arc" enhances many fine lyrical and narrative poems. Each student will produce and read from an illustrated anthology of his or her own poems in an end-of-quarter presentation.

Maximum Enrollment: 24

Required Fees: $12.50 for tickets.

Preparatory for studies or careers in: literature, law, and the creative arts.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: No Required Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
January 26th, 2011 New program added.