Friday, April 04, 2008

Poetry Writing Class

I am taking a poetry writing class at the moment. I have almost never taken writing classes. I think this is the third in my entire life; and I walked out of one midway through. It was a class on writing YA. The teacher used examples from her own work, and I didn't much like her work. When she gave us an example that was really bad sciecne fiction, I was gone.

I learn by reading and having friends who are good writers and critics. But at the moment, I want to get away from myself, the Eleanor Arnason who has an established writing career, and find out who else I can be. This is not something you can do with friends.

The current teacher uses a lot of examples from contemporary poetry. Most of the work seems highly skilled but not (to me) especially interesting. It seems too much about the internal lives of the poets.

I like poetry about real life, politics, science and science fiction. The emotional and intellectual problems of the educated middle class do not grip.

And I find the work brought in by the other students too confessional. Poetry is not therapy.

But I am writing, which is good, and some of what I've written is not entirely expected. I would not have written the haiku posted below, without a comment the poetry teacher made.


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