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PWRI 4220 (4 credits)

Writing Traditional Verse and Contemporary Song Lyrics

This course focuses on the shared building blocks of traditional formal poetry and contemporary song lyrics: meter and rhyme, repetition, and verse/stanza structure. Beginning with simple constructions like limericks and nursery rhymes, and moving swiftly into more sophisticated verse organizations like the sonnet, the villanelle, the ballad, and the popular song, students will explore a variety of existing examples, then produce their own pieces that follow (or break) the established rules of each form. The course will take a workshop format, in which students will generate, share, and receive feedback on their formal experiments; the focus will be on developing a more finely tuned ear for form, and on deploying "traditional" poetic techniques in relevant, radical, and inventive ways. (NOTE: The ability to sing or play an instrument is NOT required for this course; when discussing and writing songs, students will focus on the texts only, not the harmonic/melodic elements of songwriting craft.)

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Sections: Winter Quarter 2024

CRN 4841
Online Asynchronous
Laidlaw, Brian A.

Tuition Rate

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Additional Fees
Technology Fee: $4/credit hour for each class taken for credit


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Please check Canvas one week before class begins for any pre-class assignments.