Using Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to things” (“Oda a las cosas”) as our maxim, we will explore arrivals to the sublime via naming and detail. William Carlos Williams wrote, “No ideas but in things,” and Pound applied “imagism” to H.D. who was influenced by Sappho’s compressed lyrics. This is to say there are many ways to achieve what Mark Doty calls “metaphor meaning—and meaning intensely.” Poems about any subject are welcome with the understanding that this class will do its best to veer away from abstraction. Please bring along three poems, (17 copies), for discussion. We will also generate new poems and seedlings for poems via prompts that oblige us to pay attention to precision. Participants should be open to the explosive, cathartic, heartbreaking and hilarious effects of symbolism.
DENISE DUHAMEL’s most recent book of poetry Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other books include Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh, 2009), Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005), Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001), The Star-Spangled Banner (winner of the Crab Orchard Award, SIU Press, 1999) and Kinky (Orchises Press, 1997). She and Maureen Seaton have co-authored Caprice (Collaborations: Collected, Uncollected, and New) published in 2015 by Sibling Rivalry Press. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Duhamel is a professor at Florida International University in Miami.View poet's page