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A Made Thing
Poetry and Process

Students will be introduced to poetry as "a made thing." We will explore the differences between "good" and "bad" poetry as differentiated by their use or lack of concrete images. We will also discuss a Linda Patsan poem, "Ars Poetica," which alludes to several views of the writing process.

Read “Kansas” by B.H. Fairchild

What is poetry?
- Receive student answers
- Introduce poetry as “a made thing”

How is poetry written?
- Receive student answers
- Introduce poetry as not being created solely by “the muse”
- Talk about hard work and the process of writing
- Read Linda Pastan’s “Ars Poetica”
o Talk about or explicate poem, although not too intensely
o Talk about the speaker’s view of writing and the process
o How do these views relate to students’
- Begin talking about writing
o The process
o Hard work
o “Regularity”
o Invite them to find their own writing niche

What makes good poetry?
- Hand out “Kansas” and “Autumn Begins in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio,” and my “Soar Over Self”
- What are the strengths/weaknesses of these works?
- Bring class to the subject of concrete images

In Class Writing I
- Describe an object using purely objective and concrete language, appealing only to the five senses
- Allow 10 minutes or so
- Allow students to share
- Ask students to bring a personal item to Session II

Let them go

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