Introduction to Poetry
This introductory poetry course was taught by Longwood’s own Mary Carroll Hackett who challenged every student to explore and express the world through poetry. Lessons in the course focused on the different characteristics within a poem and effective strategies to implement in poems, such as structure and sensory details. Students, especially those fresh out of high school, often feel like poetry is produced through rigid structures and rhyme However, Marry taught us the freedom and beauty of poetry and demonstrated way to effectively portray such.
Throughout the class we had small assignment to practice our poetry and improve it. We were required to read poetry and reflect on the strategies used by poets throughout time. Rather than assigning poems each week and enforcing specific styles onto us, she allowed us to subscribe to poetry websites such as poems.org in order to develop our own taste love for poetry. Each week we were also required to play for an hour to activate the childishness within ourselves. As children we are more descriptive and description allows for better poetry. We were also required to write poems based on prompts given to use by our teacher such as wiki poem in which we used Wikipedia’s randomize feature to decide our topic for the poem. Our primary assignment, however, was the poems we wrote for the class every fourth week. Each week a group wrote a poem for the class and our classmates would read them and give feed back on what needed improvement. Although we often write poetry to express our own emotions and experiences, poems ultimately are for the reads to connect with. Thus, this editing process allows me as writer to adequately determine what enforces the effect I want to have on the reader and what does not.
From all of the poems written in the semester, we chose five to include in the portfolio shown below. This portfolio is designed to show case how far my poetry has come. We took the feed back given to us by Mary herself and our fellow classmates and improved our poems till we felt they were at their best state.