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Honesty and Vulnerability

Wednesday afternoon we will discuss the role of the poet as the vessel of the poem. Thus far much of the week has focused on craft, but here we deviate and discuss content. Students will explore the selflessness of the poem, and the importance of honesty and the the speaker's ability to become vulnerable in the poem, or as Nick has described it, to "take a punch." We will also discuss the difference between writing poems for theraputic reasons and writing poems with an honest attitude toward the poem as a piece of art. Students will be asked to reflect on their own work but will not be required, per se, to write a vulnerable poem, although I will encourage students as much as possible to do so.

Honesty and Vulnerability

- Opening Prompt: Recall an early memory of being uncomfortable,
     whether socially, culturally, sexually, or in any other capacity
- Read Jim Daniels' "My Mother's See-Through Blouse"
  - Discuss the discomfort of the speaker
  - What does the speaker "risk" in this poem
  - Is this "risk" "real"?
- My Own Aesthetic
  - Explain my own writing
  - I am not a lyricist
  - Focus on narrative
  - Content as important as craft
- Review Monday's Discussion: Why We Write Poetry
  - Some may have said for therapy
  - There is honesty in "poetry therapy," but the speaker must be conscious of the poem as an art form
  - The writer must be willing to let go of any agenda and allow the poem to go where it wants
  - The speaker must be honest and allow him/herself to be vulnerable in the poem
  - Read Wright's "To a Blossoming Pear Tree" and revisit "My Mother's See-Through Blouse"
  - Open the floor to discussion
  - Ask that students write with this honesty
- Workshop

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