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Short Poems, Big Impact


Despite its size, a successful short poem not only barks, but bites. In this course we'll look at the how of it, reading short poems—usually 10 lines or fewer, sometimes a couple more—by James Wright, Margaret Atwood, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and others.

As we dig into the anatomy of the short poem, we'll address such questions as: In the short poem, how do we reconcile brevity with emotional resonance? How do we honor the necessity of an economy of language not only without sacrificing empathy, but in doing so also elevate other elements of the craft, such as musicality, imagery, and the narrative? In such a small space, how can we harness constructive ambiguity to this end? What can we afford to leave out and what's too crucial to cut? 

Alongside the more canonical poets, we'll dig into and discuss the controversial and Tumblr-famous "Insta-poet" Rupi Kaur and the micropoetry of Twitter and other social media, considering whether (and how) these contemporary bite-sized morsels of poetry can flourish in the shadow of their predecessors and alongside their full-sized cousins. We'll look at the tongue-in-cheek, the scathing, the snapshotted, and the inspirational.

Four weeks online / $175 (two seats remain)
Teaching artist: Heather Knox

Earlier Event: September 2
Dharma Bums: Hiking & Haiku
Later Event: March 5
The Myth of Experience