Early poetic forms created order and pattern in a fearful world. Early court poetry helped create the individual. Romantic forms were vessels for the imagination. The forms we have received from the past are both part of our experience and foreign. Maybe they remind us of parts of ourselves forgotten. As we use received forms its as if we re-enter them as the future they imagined and bring them forward in new ways. We don’t use them by the aesthetic principles they once expressed but they let us see ourselves and the past in new ways. They also teach us about language. Writing poetry always does that because it puts pressure on language. These older forms show us how to say what we mean to say in a poem. They constrain us and then we stumble into discovery. Closed or open, poetic form plays with the structures of language and creative process. We’ll practice the forms and then run with them.
Week 1: Form as dance: villanelle
Week 2: Inventions on the dance
Week 3: Form as repetition: sestina, rondeau
Week 4: Inventions with repetition
Week 5: The poem being read in private: the sonnet
Week 6: Inventing reading
Poet and psychodrama practitioner Brigid Yuknavitch develops and leads poetry and poetics workshops for Corporeal Writing. She has a 2006 book of poetry Lives of the Puzzleworkers, as well as work in the anthologies Pontoon and Northwest Edge. She has a Ph.d in English and American Literature with a specialization in poetry and poetics, as well as a M.A. in Jungian Clinical psychology; for her, the two go hand in hand because they are both deeply about the creative process and coming into language. She has taught Graduate Seminars on H.D., Dickinson, Sexton, Plath, Brigit Kelly, Olga Broumas, Joy Harjo, Anzaldua, Ai, Levertov, Brooks, Lorde, Hahn and Rich, and is a trainer, educator and practitioner in psychodrama and sociometry. Brigid has a private practice and continues to lead a variety of workshops in both areas. Her goal in her work at Corporeal Writing is to develop workshops that help artists get into a relationship with themselves so they can access their inner poetry and find where their bodies and language come together. Learn more at psycheshorse.com.