Tuesday, May 5, 2015

MOOC Poetry Class Update

I am participating in an online poetry class, a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) offered by The University of Iowa International Writing Program. There are thousands of participants from around the world. The online platform is clunky and can be overwhelming. But I have developed a system to decrease the technology frustrations so that I can enjoy the amazing videos from skilled poets and teachers, learn about new forms, practice writing more poetry in sometimes new or different ways. The content each week is wonderful. Oh, and it's free.

We are in week four now and I haven't shared anything I've written. I decided it's time to put up one of my poems. It's interesting that I chose this one because this week's focus is meter and form. I tend to write free verse poetry, but I do enjoy experimenting with structure and am often happily surprised at the results. 

This poem is written with the Pantoum structure. This is a form I had not heard of before this course, which is one reason I chose this form. 

Working the Night Shift 
a pantoum
by Dot Hearn 
the look of a face at sunset 
when light switches form,  
the trees pull up roots, 
and life, as we know it, ends. 
when light switches form,  
inverting shadows, highlights, thought 
and life as we sense it begins. 
we prepare for vision and insight. 
inverting shadows and highlights, through 
closed eyelids and flickering minds, 
we prepare for vision and insight. 
the rocks float and rivers rumble. 
closed eyelids and blinking minds, 
the bodies wander familiar strange roads 
as rocks float and rivers rumble, remembering 
the look of a face at sunset.