life of the poet is sustained in moments
of quiet solitude, where the romance that
begins with the creative drive to fill
the empty space of the page is consumated
with wordswords that feed the creative
fire of the imagination where poetry is
But in this strange romance, between poet
and word, the word is always devoured
in the fire, burned down to ashes by the
poet's need to fill imagination's appetite,
to find the perfect artful balance that
will speak imagination's longings. So
that finally, as in any true romance,
the poet is always left wanting.
There is, however,
a consolation. For the word, like the
fabled Phoenix, can always rise out of
the ashesreborn, nurtured, and sustained
by the poet's attentative act of close
observation and reflectionsuch that,
once more in the closeness of quiet solitude,
the re-enactment of the romance can begin
But this is no easy romance. Like most
romances, it requires much of the poet
in patience, diligence, practice, and,
at times, a willingness to endure heartache
and sorrow. Afterall, rebirth can be a
painful process. But like the Phoenix,
what rises out of the ashes can shine
with a brilliance never before seen.
this workshop, you will be given the tools
to sustain the writing life of the poet
and make your poems shine. We will discuss
how poems are generated, how to use metaphor,
symbol, and simile to connect your imaginative
thought process to the words, the use
and value of forms, a variety of the many
types of poems, how to open and close
a poem, and how to use the workshop as
a tool of revision. We will also discuss
the business end of poetry: how to write
a cover letter, research reviews for publication,
and how and when to send a poem out for
is a series of questions which will get
you started at thinking about the process
of creation, and how you approach the
craft and art of writing poetry. Answer
them as best as you can, then come back
at the end of the course and see how your
answers have changed.
is your vision of the life of a poet?
Pick an image, symbol, or metaphor
of yourself as a poet, then write
it down. Where are you? How do you
spend your days? Where do you want
to go? How and why is poetry important
to you. Does your image fit your ideal?
- What is creativity?
Describe the creative faculty, and discuss
where that faculty is located (in your
intellect, emotions, soul, etc.).
- Are the processes
of learning and creativity linked. If
so, how are they linked? Discuss the
value of discipline to creativityare
they connected? does one feed the other?
how? Are the activities of creativity
and discipline important to your image
of being a poet? How does discipline
fit into your image or metaphor as poet?
- Does looking
at the world through the lens of poetic imagination change
the way you see the world? How?
- Is there a link
between your creativity and your experiences?
If so, what is that link, and how would
you use it in your work as a poet? If
not, from where does your creativity
originate? How do you access it?
- Does your experience
with creativity value the fleeting,
"beautiful" moments over the
everlasting "truth"? Are either,
or both important aspects of your own
- How do you handle
writer's block? Do you think that writing
about specific moments in time is easier
than writing about more generalized
thoughts or ideas? Which fits with your
ideas of poetry the best?
- When you face
an unknown experience, do you do so
with dread or excitement? Describe such
an experience, and discuss how it fits
into the way you approach writing poetry.
- What is your
right hand touching? Name it. Now erase
the name and turn what you're feeling
into a process by describing what your
hand is feeling.
were you able to tell what your hand
was feeling? Was it through an absolute
level of knowledge like a "known"
fact, or did your mind move down into
your hand to feel what it was feeling?
Or did your mind stay in your head while
your hand told your brain what it felt?
I look forward
to seeing you all in workshop. Let's have