poetry critical

online poetry workshop

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How to read and understand poetry:  stateofmind  23 Jan 07 11:10AM Post Reply

http://www.bitenova.nl/tt/pq98j
A torrent for those of you who download torrents and are interested.

Description:
How to Read and Understand Poetry
(24 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)
Course No. 268

Taught by Willard Spiegelman
Southern Methodist University
Ph.D., Harvard University

Poetry is the primal literary art form, the oldest and arguably the most supple of all.

For its combination of concision and richly suggestive expression, it has no rival. A favorite poem is your friend and companion forever. It can move you, delight you, and enrich your hours of reflection over and over again.

Now you can learn to savor poetry—the joys that come from "the best words in the best order"—to a fuller degree than you might otherwise have imagined.

Professor Willard Spiegelman's friendly yet sophisticated approach to poetry has been delighting students at SMU for more than 30 years, and he has twice been named an "Outstanding Professor" there.

In these 24 lectures, he invites you to share what he has learned over his distinguished career as a scholar and teacher of literature.

Gain New Tools to Enrich Your Appreciation
Professor Spiegelman begins with the idea that a thorough understanding of poetic patterns, techniques, habits, and genres will give you the tools you need to increase your own enjoyment of poetry and its insights.

Professor Spiegelman provides you these tools through a careful reading and thoughtful analysis of the outstanding poems discussed in this course.

Rejecting the widespread misconception that good poetry must be "difficult" or arcane, he points out that whatever else it is, poetry is music-in-words. From within every poem speaks a living voice.

You don't need to be a professional scholar or critic to develop an excellent "ear" for poetic music and poetic voices.

Have Fun Learning from Our Best-Loved Poets
The poems are at the heart of this course. These 113 examples span a rich variety of verse forms and all the periods of English literature from the Renaissance to the present.

They represent the work of many of our best-loved poets.

At two pages or less, most are short enough to be memorized completely or in part with relative ease, so you can leave no line unturned in thinking about them with respect to four key questions:

What do I notice about this poem?
What is odd, quirky, or peculiar about it?
What new words do I see, or familiar ones in new situations?
Why is it the way it is, and not some other way?
If you encounter existing favorite poems here, chances are you'll come away with a fresh and more profound sense of why you liked them so much in the first place.

And you'll almost certainly find yourself adding entirely new favorites of your own.


You also learn an array of literary insights and reading skills.

What Poetry Is: Understanding Three Key Characteristics
In particular, you learn about poetic techniques, patterns, habits, and genres. And you learn the three areas which, taken together, define what distinguishes poetry from other kinds of literature.

1. Figurative language

You learn why "figuration"—whether metaphor, simile, metonymy, synecdoche, or irony—is the crucial component of poetry.

The philosopher Aristotle, for example, who was also the first major Western literary critic, said that of all the gifts necessary for a poet, the gift of metaphor was the most important.

If you have everything else, such as a good ear, or a sense for plot or character, but lack the gift of metaphor, you won't be a good poet. If you have that gift, you'll still be a poet even if you lack everything else.

The course examines how poets seek to convey an idea or a feeling by representing something in terms of something else.

You discover why poetry is at once the most concise literary language ("the best words in the best order," Samuel Taylor Coleridge called it) and the most suggestive.

And you see why poetry's combination of concision and suggestiveness requires three things from a reader:

to pay close attention to words and music
to see how things fit together
to sense what kinds of relationships are stated, implied, or hinted at in the poet's characteristic maneuvers.
2. Music and Sound

Most poetry in English, until quite recently, has been written in "formal" ways, hewing to patterns of rhythm and rhyme.

When Walt Whitman, in the middle of the 19th century, began writing a new kind of "free" verse, he began the move toward a new kind of poetry.

Robert Frost said the new form was like playing tennis with the net down. But Whitman's subtle rhythms, in fact, actually owed a great deal to the Bible, as well as to political speech and operatic song.

You learn how all good poems, whether in conventional forms or not, have a strong musical basis and represent a decision by the poet as to which form is most appropriate.

Indeed, sound, form, and meaning are all part of the same package.

3. Tone of voice

Tone is the subtlest, most elastic, and most difficult thing to "hear" in a poem.

And though all of us know from life that misinterpreting tone can create trouble, you learn that poetry's delicacy of tone is actually a strong asset, rather than a curse.

Just because a poem is about a certain subject does not mean it must maintain a prescribed attitude toward that subject.

Much of the play of poetry comes from the discrepancy between what we might reasonably expect a poet to say and what is actually said; between the tone we anticipate and the tone that is used.

Once again, it was Frost who said over and over that the speaking voice in poetry is the most important thing of all.

A Blueprint for Performance... and for Making It Your Own
Professor Spiegelman urges us to remember that a poem is like the script of a play. It is a blueprint for performance.

Once you have thought about and read through a poem many times, you will be able to say it in your own way, having decided what to play up and what to play down.

As he notes, "Once you have it by heart, it will be as much yours as it is the author's."


re: How to read and understand poetry:  unknown  25 Jan 07 12:14AM Post Reply

I don't download torrents, but this sounds to me like...

"Understanding Poetry by Dr. J Evans
               Pritchard, Ph.D. To fully understand
               poetry, we must first be fluent with its
               meter, rhyme and figures of speech, then
               ask two questions: 1) How artfully has
               the objective of the poem been rendered
               and 2) How important is that objective?
               Question 1 rates the poem's perfection;
               question 2 rates its importance. And
               once these questions have been answered,
               determining the poem's greatness becomes
               a relatively simple matter. If the
               poem's score for perfection is plotted
               on the horizontal of a graph--"

I'm quite sure it's not all like that... but if anyone downloads this, do listen with a grain of salt.

re: How to read and understand poetry:  mikebauer  25 Jan 07 12:28AM Post Reply

sounds more like a burial in grains of quicksand.

> I don't download torrents, but this sounds to me like...
>
>  "Understanding Poetry by Dr. J Evans
>                Pritchard, Ph.D. To fully understand
>                poetry, we must first be fluent with its
>                meter, rhyme and figures of speech, then
>                ask two questions: 1) How artfully has
>                the objective of the poem been rendered
>                and 2) How important is that objective?
>                Question 1 rates the poem's perfection;
>                question 2 rates its importance. And
>                once these questions have been answered,
>                determining the poem's greatness becomes
>                a relatively simple matter. If the
>                poem's score for perfection is plotted
>                on the horizontal of a graph--"
>
> I'm quite sure it's not all like that... but if anyone downloads
> this, do listen with a grain of salt.

re: How to read and understand poetry:  unknown  25 Jan 07 12:32AM Post Reply

dead poet's society! YES. best movie ever. rip it up gentlemen!

here is what i think of j. evans pritchard, phd

this is what becomes of you when you compartmentalize and academize poetry mikebauer and you are a close lot of it.

re: How to read and understand poetry:  mikebauer  25 Jan 07 1:35AM Post Reply

no, this is when you mistake poetry for wisdom and poets for "special people who also write". that's the academic problem, and the reason not to go to any poetry MFA program. staking clever thoughts and sentiment isn't the same as building a poet. you've got it totally backwards: you're the academic type: saying such important things with pretty words.

> dead poet's society! YES. best movie ever. rip it up gentlemen!
>
> here is what i think of j. evans pritchard, phd
>
> this is what becomes of you when you compartmentalize and academize
> poetry mikebauer and you are a close lot of it.

re: How to read and understand poetry:  unknown  26 Jan 07 4:09AM Post Reply

I am refreshing ignorant person.  I am not replying to anyone in particular.  I am happy just to be here.  I've gotten rejected from the finest schools all over this country.

re: How to read and understand poetry:  unknown  28 Jan 07 12:47PM Post Reply

you're pretty judgemental

re: How to read and understand poetry:  mikebauer  28 Jan 07 1:07PM Post Reply

i think your ignorance may stem from your only having learnt simple truths from the academics: certainly they gave you a hint why you were being throw out of their school. and, isn't it normal to want to out do your betters? -- analysing their style and method until you yourself actually become better than them? that's the history of any great person. you just dropped before you learned the analytical skill, and now you're spinning your mind in t.v. and gossip talk impersonations of what "smart people" are supposed to sound like. you sound like an academic.

> I am refreshing ignorant person.  I am not replying to anyone in
> particular.  I am happy just to be here.  I've gotten rejected from
> the finest schools all over this country.

re: How to read and understand poetry:  unknown  4 Feb 07 3:58AM Post Reply

I am quote post demented, replying to what I have no idea what I am talking about.  I check these threads line by line and then I project.  I thought I accidentally destroyed my computer.  The adrenaline was very high.  I performed a scan and now everything is okay.  I am still refreshing ignorant person.  I projected in the writer's tone (Mr. Bauer) that ignorance is not a legitimate state of being.  It is believed by my fellow academics that a state of being is not meaningful until it is accompanied by its appropriate sacrifice.  I don't buy this.  I am a hopeless ignoramus.

re: How to read and understand poetry:  unknown  4 Feb 07 4:28AM Post Reply

mike bauer is no help on this site.
he only tries to prove himself better.
mike bauer can't teach.
he know he know nothing.

forced creativity can never reign mike.
and learning art never succeeds.

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