The Unexpected Image
Every writer has personal obsessions, whether they realize it or not. Repeated metaphors, images, conflicts, etc. can all go in to making a poet's distinct body of work; however, it's also important to be aware and in control of personal cliches. In this class we will examine the obsessions of a few published writers, and will try to identify our own obsessions. We will use a series of exercises that help the writer play, experiment, and push past the boundaries of what they are used to writing. As Robert Frost said: “All metaphor breaks down somewhere. That is the beauty of it. It is touch and go with the metaphor, and until you have lived with it long enough you don’t know when it is going. You don’t know how much you can get out of it and when it will cease to yield. It is a very living thing. It is as life itself.” Students are encouraged to prepare original 3-5 poems. Early or rough drafts are OK -- these will be used as part of a writing exercise, and will not be shared or workshopped in class. Preferably, poems should be accessible on a laptop. Laptops are recommend.