Friday, October 27th

Reminder: Victoria Chang’s reading will happen today at 4 PM in the Elliston Poetry Room!

Friday, October 27th

  • Detail Question: Do you believe in ghosts?
  • We read the poem of the day, Victoria Chang’s “Mr. Darcy” and talked about how the poem uses repetition via homophones and rhyme, and how the repetition was a grounding influence in the poem
  • We listed ways that repetition shows up in everyday life, including routines, habits, chores, spells, affirmations, and songs and talked about how repetition is one of the central, foundational tools of poetry, whether on the level of the sound (rhyme, alliteration, assonance and consonance etc. all involve the repetition of particular sounds) or the level of the word or phrase, as in repetend (the repetition of a word or phrase throughout a poem) or anaphora (the repetition of a word or phrase specifically at the beginning of a line or a sentence)
  • We read Catherine Pierce’s “On Greed” and talked about the concept of “leapfrogging” repetition in poems — how you can choose not just one word to repeat, but several phrases. We compared this to Corey van Landingham’s “Elegy“, which chooses only one word to repeat, and talked about how these effects are very different
  • Finally, we talked about Amit Majmudar’s “Pandemic Ghazal” and talked about how repetition of a visual tic (like Majmudar’s enjambment after “virus”) can also count as repetition, and how forms function as a way to give us recognizable, shareable patterns that have particular kinds of repetitions built in (as in the Ghazal, which repeats words at the end of specific lines)

Homework for Monday, October 30th

  • Read: My brief handout with notes on form
  • Read: Ron Rash’s syllabic poem “The Corpse Bird“, A.E. Stallings’ poem “Fairy-Tale Logic“, Caitlin Doyle’s poem “Wish” (you’ll need to scroll down past a brief interview to find the poem) and Tim Seibles’ “Zombie Blues Villanelle
  • Write:  Keep working on your poem drafts! Here’s another prompt for you to try:

Use the lessons we talked about today regarding repetition in one of your own poems. Imitate either Pierce’s “leapfrogging” from repetition to repetition (“I want” “strange” “diadem” etc.) and repeat several words or phrases throughout the poem. Or, imitate Van Landingham’s “Elegy” and choose one word to repeat and reinvent throughout the poem. Or choose a form with repetition (like the ghazal) and try your hand at that.


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