IP104 Renew Your Poetic license IN HOUSE Only
Mondays, October 19th to November 23rd
$80 for 6 weeks
Instructor: Christopher Levenson
Maximum of 10 registrants In House.
Minimum of 8 for the class to run.
The language of poetry. Starting with Wordsworth's rejection of a special language for poetry (poetic diction) and choosing instead 'a selection of the real language of men', we will look at Whitman's prophetic, biblical voice which resurfaces in the 20th century in Carl Sandburg and Allen Ginsburg's “Howl”. We will look at Clough’s Amours de Voyage for the first instance of a casual, colloquial tone and finally at Gerard Manley Hopkins' re-invigoration of English through the use of Anglo-Saxon and Welsh idiom and rhythms.
Getting away from traditional forms such as the sonnet and blank verse, we will examine 'free verse’ as in Eliot; the use of para-rhyme by Wilfred Owen; the rejection of British English and the whole British literary tradition by William Carlos Williams; and the substitution of composition by phrase rather than by metre.
A closer look at cadence and verse movement, with examples from Hopkins, Yeats, Tomlinson, Jeffers, Larkin and Vikram Seth and syllabic verse, as in Dylan Thomas and Auden.
The poetic imagination: the unexpected angle of vision as in Emily Dickinson, MacNeice, and Pat Lowther.
The tone of poetry: from the confessional mode of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton and Lowell’s Life Studies at Auden’s Musée de Beaux Arts and The Shield of Achilles.
What is the public role of the poet today vis-à-vis politics, religion etc. How can poets deal with e.g. urbanization and colonization (Dennis Lee) nature and climate change?
About the instructor
Christopher Levenson is originally from London, England, settled in Ottawa in 1968, where he taught English and Creative Writing, and was first editor of Arc magazine. He has published eleven books of poetry. His most recent, Night Vision (Quattro Books, 2014), which involves mainly socio-political and ecological concerns, was short listed for the Governor General's Award for poetry. He has travelled widely, living in Germany and the Netherlands. Now at home in Vancouver, he is an enthusiastic promoter of South Asian writing in English.
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