Last Friday, Writing 201 : Poetry ended. Her is the account of my experience.
A casual approach to poetry
Every morning for two weeks, you’ll receive an email from Ben Huberman, one of the Daily post’s editor.
This email contains a short introduction to the assignment of the day, an explanation of the theme, de literary device and an introduction to a poetry form. These explanations are illustrated with modern examples (songs from Bon Jovi, Beyonce, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Katy Perry). The goal is to make the participants feel good about themselves by avoiding to compare them to classic poetry masters.
Online tools to help participants
Trying to write poetry nowadays has many advantages, one being the online tools. They are plenty and they allow you to count words, syllables, find rhymes. Links to these tools are provided within the daily emails. One again, everything aims at making the students feel comfortable and forget about the obstacles they might be tempted to create themselves.
2 weeks of varying daily writing exercises
During W201: poetry, the art is tackled under 3 different angles : Form, device and theme. Everything is optional. One can decide to answer or not to an assignment, try to write a poem that’ll fit the 3 criteria, or not.
each of the 3 parameters changes every day :participants don’t have tile to get bored. The rhythm of the course is intense and some exercises are quite complicated and ask for for hours of thinking (write a sonnet for example).
One does not summon inspiration, Poetic lyricism even less. However, the intensity of the course is perfect to dive in the poetic crafting state of mind and stay immersed to the end of the course.
A duration too short
The only inconvenient of the course is its length : it’s too short. 2 weeks are barely enough to set the poetic muscle into motion, and when it’s time to harvest the fruits of labor, when writing in compliance to poetic standards get easier, the course ends.
It should be 4 weeks long. That way, participants could enjoy the benefits of their hard work.
Common point with all the Blogging University courses
This course, like every other offered by the BU is based on the « you learn by doing principle ». WP’s editor is here to guide, support and facilitate communication between the participants.
This course is made for the bloggers. Every students is excepted to share his work by leaving a link to his blog in the course’s private site, The Commons. Every message that does not respect this rule is deleted by the editor.
Participants are also asked to give as much feedback as they can in a specific and constructive manner. It’s one of the biggest quality of the Blogging University : trolls and bullies do not have their place there. The result of this policy is immediate : participants feel safe to take risks and share their work. There is rarely any incident.
What I take away
This W201: Poetry session was my second. The first time, in February, I had to drop out because of planning issues. I wanted to do well this time and I answered to all the assignments. I end this session with 10 news poems. I’m not mistaken, most of them aren’t masterpiece but they allowed me to try and enjoy new writing tool I did not know before and I truly enjoyed it. I’m eagerly waiting for next W201: Poetry session. In the meantime, I’ll try to use everything I’ve learned during these 2 weeks.
I’d like to know, do you enjoy Poetry ? Have you participated in this W201: Poetry session ? Do you plan on giving it a try next time it’s scheduled ? Please feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below 😀