Sundays, Apr 5 - May 3
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Poetry and Illumination: Writing the Poem Underneath the Poem
It is said that poems reside anywhere and in anything; in the guise of the ordinary, they are simply waiting to step out into the light, into their full radiance and potential. In memorable poems, a deeper poem breathes underneath the poem that it purports to be. That is to say, the most unforgettable poems are usually those interested in doing more than one thing–not just tell a single story, or articulate one kind of feeling. Naomi Shihab Nye suggests that it is necessary for the poet to hone a different kind of attention in order to see “the words under the words,” the poem underneath the poem: “otherwise it is just a world with a lot of rough edges,/ difficult to get through, and our pockets full of stones.” Annie Dillard describes “[t]he secret of seeing [as] the pearl of great price;” and, “although the pearl may be found, it may not be sought…. [I]t is always, even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise… I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam.” In this workshop, we will write and study poems which will help us sharpen our attention and allow us to address the fullest range of the senses and of our emotional and intellectual truths. We will try to put ourselves in the path of the poem’s illumination with every poem we read and every poem we draft.