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Friday, July 18, 2014

Literature / Writing: Poetry

We have been looking for just the right poetry instructor for several years now. Today I can tell you that we've found her and she is amazing. This is a great series of courses that will help your high school student be a better writer and have a greater appreciation for beautiful poetry, as well as lift his heart up to God.

Introduction to Poetry, Part One
(click on course title to register)

Wordle: Poetry Note: Registration is limited to 20 students.
Class dates: Mondays, September 8 to December 15, 2014. No class Dec. 8.
Total classes: 14
Starting time: 1:00 pm Eastern (Noon Central; 11:00 Mountain; 10:00 Pacific)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Poetry or Literature/ Creative Writing. For a full year of poetry, see Poetry Writing I in the spring.
Fee: $190 if you register on or before August 1, 2014. $210 after Aug. 1st for all 14 classes.
Instructor: Sally Thomas
Course description: An introduction to reading and writing poetry, covering such literary devices as rhyme, meter, and figurative language, and the relationship of those elements to the overall meaning of a poem. Students will practice the art of close, critical reading, as well as experimenting with elements of poetry in their own writing. Introduction to Poetry plays a crucial function in the whole scheme of high-school literature, providing the student with a heightened understanding of this most mysterious literary form, as well as sharpening overall writing and critical-reading skills. Introduction to Poetry serves as pre-requisite for more advanced and specialized poetry-writing courses, including Creative Writing: Poetry and Introduction to Poetic Forms.
Course materials: Sound and Sense, 8th Edition, Lawrence Perrine. Out of print, but readily available used for as little as $0.99 plus s/h: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0155074946/catholictreas-20
Course outline:
Class 1: Introduction: What Is a Poem?
Class 2: Reading the Poem
Class 3: How Words Mean
Class 4: Imagery
Class 5: Figurative Language I
Class 6: Figurative Language II
Class 7: Figurative Language III
Class 8: Allusion
Class 9: Meaning and Idea
Class 10: Tone, Diction, Voice
Class 11: Musical Devices
Class 12: Sound and Meaning
Class 13: Rhyme and Meter
Class 14: Pattern: The Whole of the Poem
Homework: One chapter per week in Perrine, with assigned poems. One poetry-writing exercise each week. (Approximately 4 hours total homework per week.)

Poetry Writing I: Joining the Great Tradition
(click on course title to register)

Note: Only 20 students accepted in this course.
Class dates: Mondays, January 5 to April 20, 2015. No class Feb. 16 or April 5.
Total classes: 14
Starting time: 1:00 pm Eastern (Noon Central; 11:00 Mountain; 10:00 Pacific)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: Introduction to Poetry (Fall 2014)
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Poetry or Literature/ Creative Writing
Fee: $190 if you register on or before November 15, 2014. $210 after Nov. 15th for all 14 classes.
Instructor: Sally Thomas
Course description: An introduction to the craft of poetry writing, including examination of traditional English verse forms and free verse, and experimentation with rhetorical techniques. Though this is a writing-intensive class, students will also be immersed in the reading of poetry. Through their experiences in examining how poems work and putting their observations into practice, students will prepare themselves for the challenge of college by developing heightened sensitivity as close readers and a greater command of rhetoric in their own writing, whether poetry or prose.
Course outline:
Class 1: Introduction
Class 2: Verse Systems
Class 3: Accentual Meters
Class 4: Syllabic Verse
Class 5: Forms in Free Verse
Class 6: Ode Forms
Class 7: Quantitative Verse
Class 8: Repetitive Structures
Class 9: Comical Schemes
Class 10: Rhetorical Schemes
Class 11: Variation and Mimesis
Class 12: More About Rhyming
Class 13: Uncommon Schemes
Class 14: Poetry Festival
Course materials: Rhyme’s Reason, John Hollander. A Poetry Handbook, Mary Oliver
Homework: One chapter each in Hollander and Oliver each week, plus additional poetry readings, provided by the instructor. One poetry-writing exercise per week.


Instructor biography: Mrs. Sally Thomas is a poet, essayist, fiction writer, and homeschooling mother of four, currently living and writing in North Carolina. Over the last two decades, her writing has appeared widely in publications large and small, including The New Yorker, First Things, Lay Witness, Verily, the Catholic literary journal Dappled Things, and the homeschooling magazine mater et magistra. Her debut poetry collection, Brief Light: Sonnets and Other Small Poems, appeared in 2012. She holds a B.S. in English and secondary education from Vanderbilt University, and her teaching background includes experience in both the high school and the college classroom, where she has taught literature, composition, and creative writing. A convert to Catholicism from the Anglican tradition, Mrs. Thomas serves her small rural parish as First Communion catechist and volunteer choir director. She is also a contributor to the Catholic Charlotte Mason group blog Things and Thoughts.
Mrs. Thomas teaches poetry.

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