Skip Navigation

Crafting Poetry

Open to: Grades 8 - 12
Prerequisites: Qualifying verbal/reading score and one of these courses: CTY Online Programs Writing Analysis & Persuasion or CTY Intensive Studies Critical Essay
Challenge Level: college undergraduate
Course Format: Email
Recommended School Credit: One-half academic year
Course Length: Session Based20 weeks (Fall and Early Spring); 12 weeks (Early Summer); or 6 weeks (Intensive Midsummer). Session Dates
Course Code: CDPO

Course Description

This course is an introduction to contemporary poetry, emphasizing prosody. Prosody is the term given to the musical aspects of poetry, the patterns and conventions of sound, and the effects they have on the reader or audience. Imagery in poems is also explored. Students write their own poems and also read and comment on the work of well-known poets such as William Blake, Lucille Clifton, and Seamus Heaney. Comprehensive revision, based on in-depth critiques from the instructor, is strongly emphasized.

Topics covered:

  • Finding inspiration
  • Dramatic monologue
  • Rhyme, rhyme scheme, and sonorous effects
  • Anglo-saxon lines
  • Sapphic stanzas
  • Poetic forms
  • Imagery
  • Variations in tone
  • Poetic structure
  • Revision

The course includes a required, on-line, asynchronous writers' workshop in which participants post feedback for one another.

Grammar Note

Skilled, careful writers follow the conventions of Standard Written English, but writing is much more than mere adherence to convention. Instructors discuss grammar only when it affects meaning. Writing courses are not remedial. Students must already be proficient in Standard Written English.

Materials Needed

Students are not required to purchase any additional materials or texts for this course.

Course Details

Crafting Poetry

Assignment

Objectives

1. FINDING INSPIRATION

Read and study W.H. Auden's poem "Musee de Beaux Arts." Find a painting and derive your own poem, like Auden's, from your observations in and off the painting.

2. DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE: WRITING BEHIND A MASK

To recognize the effect of voice and persona on shifts in tone and a poem's mood. To write a poem in which you modulate the poem's voice and create variations in its tone or mood.

3. EMOTION/MOTION/ OCEAN/SHUN

Read, listen to, and be able to identify different types of rhyme, rhyme scheme, and sonorous effects, such as consonance, assonance, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. Write a poem endowed with various rhyming and sonorous effects.

4. ANGLO-SAXON LINES

Read, listen to, and be able to discern stresses in a line, various metrical feet, and to develop skill at scansion. Write a poem with particular attention paid to stresses and the rhythm in the lines.

5. SAPPHIC STANZAS

Read, listen to, and be able to identify lineation features, such as caesura, enjambment, and end-stops, and their effects on tempo, mood, and imagery. Write a poem with particular attention paid to lineation.

6. POETIC FORMS

Read, listen to, and be able to identify a variety of poetic forms, including villanelle, sestina, and variations of the sonnet. Write a poem in one of these forms.

7. IMAGERY: POETRY'S ANSWER TO "THE FORCE"

To understand imagery, both in the way it captures meaning and the effect it has on a poem's tone. To recognize the connections between image, mind, and body. To write a poem composed of nothing more than a list of things. To arrange the list so that juxtaposed images create a cinematic effect.

8. PRODUCING VARIATIONS IN TONE

To understand how imagery is interwoven with other elements of poetry in ways analogous to filmmaking. To arrange a poem's imagery in order to create cinematic effects: directing the mind's eye of the reader like a camera, adding voiceover and other sensual detail (color, sound, smell, texture), and producing a poem with variations in tone.

9. POETIC STRUCTURE

To begin perceiving how structures in a poem enact (i.e., act out, dramatize) by the way they evolve into a dynamic form what a poem conveys by way of assertion. To understand the structures of a poem are the intellectual or logical shapes into which its thoughts are organized. To write a poem in which there is an overarching structure with several substructures.

10. REVISION

To revise an earlier poem by enhancing the concreteness and palpability of its imagery, adjusting its syntax, culling unnecessary words and phrases, and/or condensing what's said to maximum poetic effectiveness--that is, a composition of verses with multiple layers of meaning.

Time Required

  • 3 hours weekly for 20 week sessions (Fall and Early Spring)
  • 5 hours weekly for 12 week session (Early Summer)
  • 2 hours Monday - Friday during intensive summer session (Midsummer)

Summer Session Daily Calendars

Summer Schedules

Learn more about the summer sessions.

Up to two weeks of vacation is allowed in the Early Summer Session. No vacations are allowed in the Intensive Midsummer Session.

Down to Midsummer Intensive Session (6 weeks).

Sample Early Summer Session: June 5 - August 25, 2017 (12 weeks)

DATEDUE
 

NOTES:

  • Work is due by end of the day, not start of the day.
  • Vacations are allowed. Students may miss up to two due dates but must negotiate with the instructor which two, if any, at the start of the course.
  • 10 assignments and 12 due dates allows each student to miss 2 due dates or to finish 2 weeks early.

Monday, June 5

Instructor Email Arrives
Students download materials from the course access page

Friday, June 9

Final Writing Assignment (FWA) #1 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, June 12

Workshop #1 starts

Friday, June 16

FWA#2 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, June 19

Workshop #2 starts
Workshop #1 ends

Friday, June 23

FWA #3 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, June 26

Workshop #3 starts
Workshop #2 ends

Friday, June 30

FWA #4 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, July 3

Workshop #4 starts
Workshop #3 ends

Friday, July 7

FWA #5 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, July 10

Workshop #5 begins
Workshop #4 ends

Friday, July 14

FWA #6 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, July 17

Workshop #6 begins
Workshop #5 ends

Friday, July 21

FWA #7 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, July 24

Workshop #7 begins
Workshop #6 ends

Friday, July 28

FWA #8 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, July 31

Workshop #8 begins
Workshop #7 ends

Friday, August 4

FWA #9 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, August 7

Workshop #9 begins
Workshop #8 ends

Friday, August 11

FWA #10 DUE BY MIDNIGHT
Most students complete their course today, but those who took vacations may use the missed assignment due dates below to complete by August 26.

Monday, August 14

Workshop #10 begins
Workshop #9 ends

Friday, August 18Makeup Assignment due (not eligible for workshop)

Friday, August 25

Makeup Assignment due (not eligible for workshop)
Workshop #10 ends

Session Ends ABSOLUTELY NO ASSIGNMENTS ACCEPTED AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT

 

4 to 6 weeks after the course ends, students receive

  • Certificate of Participation
  • Detailed, one-page final evaluation of progress
  • Course description

Please update your contact information in MyCTY if your postal address changes.


Sample Midsummer Intensive Session: July 10 - August 21, 2016 (6 weeks)

DATEEVENT
 

NOTES:

  • Work is due by end of the day, not start of the day.
  • Vacations are NOT allowed.

Monday, July 10

Instructor Email Arrives
Students download materials from the course access page

Friday, July 14

Final Writing Assignment (FWA) #1 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, July 17

Workshop #1 starts

Tuesday, July 18

FWA#2 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Wednesday, July 19

Workshop #2 starts today

Friday, July 21

Workshop #1 ends
FWA #3 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, July 24

Workshop #3 starts

Tuesday, July 25

Workshop #2 ends
FWA #4 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Wednesday, July 26

Workshop #4 starts

Friday, July 28

Workshop #3 ends
FWA #5 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, July 31

Workshop #5 begins

Tuesday, August 1

Workshop #4 ends
FWA #6 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Wednesday, August 2

Workshop #6 begins

Friday, August 4

FWA #7 DUE BY MIDNIGHT
Workshop #5 ends.

Monday, August 7

Workshop #7 begins

Tuesday, August 8

Workshop #6 ends
FWA #8 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Wednesday, August 9

Workshop #8 begins

Friday, August 10

Workshop #7 ends

Monday, August 14

FWA #9 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Tuesday, August 15

Workshop #9 begins
Workshop #8 ends

Friday, August 18

FWA #10 DUE BY MIDNIGHT

Monday, August 21

Workshop #10 begins
Workshop #9 ends

Session Ends ABSOLUTELY NO ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME.
Workshop #10 remains open for comments until August 30. Tutor comments on FWA #10 will be posted by August 30.

 

4 to 6 weeks after the course ends, students receive

  • Certificate of Participation
  • Detailed, one-page final evaluation of progress
  • Course description

Please update your contact information in MyCTY if your postal address changes.

Sample First Assignment

Demo

Poetry is the clear expression of mixed feelings.  -- W.H. Audenportrait of W.H. Auden

Objectives:

Read and study W.H. Auden's poem "Musee de Beaux Arts." Find a painting and derive your own poem, like Auden's, from your observations in and off the painting.

Directions:

  1. Read all of the following directions before you click anywhere, link anywhere, or do anything.
  2. Go to Poetry Pages. There you will find both Auden's famous poem and the Brueghel painting from which the poem derived. Study the poem, the painting, and the commentary about each that are on the web site. A smart thing to do would be to print the webpage where these appear.
  3. Then go to the WebMuseum and find a painting that inspires you. Think of paintings and artists that you like and look them up first. If you don't have any favorites, browse the collection until you find something that catches your fancy.
  4. Write your poem, make it at least 20 lines long, and submit it by the deadline date for Assignment 1.
  5. Have fun.

Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

 

Reviews

"I learned a lot about poetry, and became more brave in experimenting with the templates, length, and typography. Thank you, [Instructor's first name]!"

"The course was wonderful. :) "

"Mrs. C___ was an amazing teacher. She was very insightful and is an expert at all forms of poetry. She would correct you without being too mean, and she had many ideas that influenced me immensely.
"Mrs. C___ made me more interested in poetry than ever before. I realized that poetry is a great way to open up someone's soul."