Our workshop, while discussing the design of each workshop poem and its performance in that design, will also be concerned with matters of syntax. How far can we pull language? What ambiguities and potential exist for the poet in dislocation, elision, repetition, qualification, and delay? We’ll look at various examples of syntactic symmetry and surprise in poems by poets as diverse as Milton, Dickinson, Ronald Johnson, Langston Hughes, Kinnell, and Brigit Pegeen Kelly, in order to think about the poet’s premeditated and rote placements of words (and ideas) in sentences and across lines; about the extra force of a surprising order; about degrees of obscurity and syntactic freedom. Bring 4-5 poems (17 copies each) to the first workshop meeting. We will cover as many poems as possible in the workshop. Bring poems for which you want feedback, poems you are working on, in progress, not finished poems. I will speak with participants about poems we don’t get to, or hand back notes on those poems.
Rivers The Like Soul My Grown Has Deep With Carol Frost