Online Class: Poetry Writing 101

This poetry course is created for the lover of poetry who wants to learn how to appreciate the art even more. It is also for student poets who want to improve their craft.

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  • 3,709
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  • 17
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Course Description

A Deep Dive into the Enigmatic World of Poetry: Craft, Appreciation, and Mastery

The realm of poetry is vast, intriguing, and profound. Poetry, more than just an art form, is an emotional symphony, a language that transcends boundaries, and a medium that mirrors life's intricacies. Whether you're a fervent admirer seeking a richer understanding or an aspiring poet craving mastery, this course promises a journey into poetry's heart, illuminating its nuances, techniques, and timeless allure.

Why This Course Stands Out:

  • All-Encompassing Curriculum: From poetry's rich history to the techniques that shape its tapestry, this course delves deep, ensuring students grasp both the theoretical and practical aspects of poetry.

  • Rich Pedagogy: While many courses might skim poetry's surface, ours delves into its depths. Through a mix of structured lessons, engaging assignments, and insightful essays, we ensure that learning isn't just passive but immersive and transformative.

  • Publication-Ready Training: The course culminates in guiding students to create a chapbook—a testament to their journey, their learnings, and their unique voice—poised for publication.

Course Highlights:

  1. Introduction: The Art of Poetry: Venture into poetry's enchanting world, understanding its significance, scope, and the sheer magic it holds.

  2. Irony and Tone: Dive into the subtle art of irony, learning how tone shapes meaning, evokes emotion, and adds layers to poetry.

  3. Denotation and Connotation: Decipher the explicit and implicit, realizing how words hold dual meanings, adding richness to poems.

  4. Literal and Figurative Meanings: Navigate the realms of the real and the symbolic, understanding how poets play with language to conjure vivid imageries.

  5. Poetic Devices A-I: From alliteration to imagery, uncover the devices that lend poetry its unique rhythm, rhyme, and resonance.

  6. Poetic Devices J-Z: Further exploration into the tools poets employ, delving into juxtaposition, zeugma, and more.

  7. Rhyme and Meter: Understand the beats and patterns that give poems their musical quality, making them memorable.

  8. Symbolism and Archetypes: Dive into the symbols that recur in literature, deciphering their significance and the universal truths they represent.

  9. Cultural Concepts: Appreciate how poetry serves as a reflection of its cultural context, adding layers of depth and relevance.

  10. Parody and Translation: Explore the art of poetic imitation and the challenges and nuances of translating poetry while retaining its essence.

  11. Free Verse and Blank Verse: Delve into the liberating world of unrhymed poetry, understanding its charm and challenges.

  12. Sound and Meaning: Discover the auditory aesthetics of poetry and how sound intricacies can amplify meaning.

  13. Types of Poetry and Verse: From sonnets to haikus, explore the diverse poetic forms that have enraptured readers for centuries.

Real-world Insights:

  • Analyze renowned poems, understanding the techniques employed, the themes explored, and the emotions evoked.

  • Work on assignments that mimic real-world challenges, such as translating a poem while retaining its soul or crafting a parody without losing respect for the original.

Is This Course for You?

  • Poetry Enthusiasts: Deepen your appreciation, understand subtle nuances, and connect more intimately with the poems you read.

  • Aspiring Poets: Elevate your craft, weave words with greater skill, and carve a niche for yourself in the literary world.

In an era where communication is often brief and fleeting, poetry stands as a testament to the depth and beauty of language. It's a celebration of life, love, loss, and everything in between. This course is more than just an educational journey—it's an invitation to experience, to feel, and to express. Join us, and let's craft verses that resonate, touch hearts, and endure time.

Course Motivation

To be a great poet, you have to think like a great poet. There are reasons why Frost is so well known and why his poetry will be studied for generations to come, just as there are reasons why some poets that are around today will never be forgotten because they'll never be known.  

Great poetry is not the ability to string together flowery phrases, or to say something so nonsensical that it sounds poetic and intelligent only to the ignorant. Great poetry can be understood by anyone who reads it. And writing great poetry means having the ability to write about the ordinary in a way that's never been stated before. Poetry is a beautiful art, and it's an art that you're going to learn about in-depth throughout every lesson in this course.  

You will learn: 

  • The terminology, form, and devices used in poetry.
  • To recognize and understand the terminology, forms, and devices in great and classical poetry. You'll study poems by Frost and Dickinson, to name a few. 
  • Why the terms, forms, and devices are critical aspects of great poetry.  
  • How to apply these things to your own poetry.  

You will be taught these things in each of the lessons, then be asked to demonstrate what you've learned through various assignments. It is important that you complete each assignment given in this course, not just to achieve a passing grade, but to also take away the in-depth comprehension of poetry so you can begin to effortlessly apply it to your own work.  

You will be asked to: 

  • Complete lesson assignment exercises. Lesson exercises are placed at the end of each lesson to test your comprehension of the material covered by asking you questions. You need to complete the lesson exercises right away before advancing.  
  • Complete lesson reviews quizzes. Lesson reviews are located at the end of each lesson, and cover terminology and definitions of the material covered. These should be completed at the end of each lesson before advancing.
  • Write poetry to include in your chapbook. There will be places in this course where you will be asked write your own poem by applying devices or techniques you've just learned, then placing them in your chapbook template. All poems that you write for this are required to be no longer than 50 lines. It is hard to write a great long poem, and it is important that you learn to write great, shorter poems first. Poetry assignments appear in boxes. These poems will not be submitted to your instructor. They are just for your practice.
  • Write essays. There is an essay assignment at the end of each lesson. These essays must be completed because they challenge you to think about what you've learned and appreciate why it's important to poetry. Essays must be no longer than 1500 words.  
Introduction to Poetry 

Poetry is an art form that is older than literature, itself, and dates back to ancient times. It is used as a form of communication, a way to tell a story, and a way to express emotion. Throughout this course, you're going to learn how poetry is used to achieve all of these things by studying its form, devices, and by reading the poems of some of the greatest poets of all time. You'll learn to recognize the elements of poetry, which will help you to understand and write it. 

However, before we delve into this course, it's important to start out by discussing what poetry is not. There's a common misconception, especially since the boom of the Internet, that poetry is a form of self expression that is void of any rules or form. While it's true that a poem can be a very beautiful means of expression, it is not true that there aren't any forms or rules to it. There are devices and techniques that set poetry apart from other forms of literature, and it's applying those things to your own writing that will determine how great a poet you are.  

To be able to write good poetry, you have to understand what comprises good poetry. You have to know the forms, devices, and rules, as we said before, but you also have to be able to recognize the art of a quality poem, as opposed to regular writing broken up into poetry form. The only way to really be able to do that is to read the works of the great and notable poets, then be able to objectively compare it to your own and learn from it.
Throughout the rest of this course, we're going to learn the art of poetry.  
A Brief History of Poetry

In modern times, and especially in our culture, we tend to think of poetry as the expression of emotion. How can we not, when poetry lines the inside of every greeting card, when it's something romantic that we write for a loved one, and when it's so lyrical that it brings out our emotions or sticks in our heads for a long time to come. 

But the truth is, the original meaning and use for poetry had nothing to do with emotion. Poetry dates back to prehistoric times and out-dates literacy itself. The oldest surviving poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh, was written in 3000 BC on clay tablets.  

When it originated, poetry was used as a form of record keeping. Ancient societies wrote poems to record cultural events, laws, and to tell stories (epic poetry). The rhythm, beat, and rhyme of poetry made things easy to memorize and aided in accurate oral transmission. 

Think about it. If someone asked you to memorize the entire Constitution and the Bill of Rights word for word, you would probably shudder. However, if they rhymed or had a rhythm, memorization would be easier, and you'd be less likely to fumble on recitation. 
Poetic Form 

While there are several forms of written poetry you can use, there are a few basic components and terms that are familiar to most poetry you will read. Whenever you read a story, you know the story will contain whole sentences. From there, the sentences are divided into lines. The length of those lines are determined by the margins set for the page, with a new line only beginning when the words reach the right margin. Then, the sentences and lines are broken up into paragraphs. Paragraphs make long text easier to read and, oftentimes, a new paragraph means a new thought, subject, or direction. Poetry is different. 
The length of your lines in poetry is determined by how you want your poem to be read. The end of a line is where you want the reader to take a pause, or can even be used to emphasize a phrase or word. Punctuation does not have to be used at the end of a line, as with text. Instead, you can use an enjambment, or allow one sentence or phrase to run over into another line without using punctuation, as long as the words in the two lines are closely related.  

You can write: The girl went to the store

With lightning at her heels. 

But you couldn't write: The girl went to the store

The boy went to the dentist. 

In the first example, the words in the two lines are closely related because they both talk about the girl. It is a correct use of enjambment. The second example features two lines that are unrelated. Using an enjambment here would be incorrect. Instead, you'd need some form of punctuation.  

Unlike text, where long passages are broken up into paragraphs, poetry uses stanzas. A stanza is equal to a verse. It can be defined as a group of lines whose pattern repeats throughout the poem. Think of a stanza as a "paragraph within a poem"-- each stanza is divided by a space.

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  • 6 Months to Complete
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Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.6 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(2,177 votes)

Lesson 1: Introduction: The Art of Poetry

Poetry is a beautiful art, and it's an art that you're going to learn about in-depth throughout every lesson in this course. Additional lesson topics: Enjambments 54 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 1 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 1: Introduction

Lesson 2: Irony and Tone

The biggest mistake you can make as a poet is to believe that a poem's purpose is to show emotion or convey a thought. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review Practice Worksheet: Chapbook.rtf
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 2 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 2: Irony and Tone

Lesson 3: Denotation and Connotation

Denotation and connotation are two terms that are very important in poetry, especially when you're writing it, because they can determine the meaning of your words and help to set the tone of the poem. 63 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment A
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment B
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 3 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 3: Denotation and Connotation

Lesson 4: Literal and Figurative Meanings

Literal and figurative languages are often used in poetry to give it meaning and, oftentimes, a second meaning. Additional lesson topics: Irony and Poetry 51 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment A
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment B
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 4 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 4: Literal and Figurative Meanings

Lesson 5: Poetic Devices A-I

Poets achieve their art by using poetic devices. These poetic devices allow poets to create tone, connotation, figurative language, and more. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 5 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 5: Poetic Devices A-I

Lesson 6: Poetic Devices J-Z

In this lesson, we're going to cover more of the poetic devices listed in Lesson 4. Additional lesson topics: Connotation vs Metonymy 77 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment A
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment B
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment C
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 6 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 6: Poetic Devices J-Z

Lesson 7: Rhyme and Meter

Rhyme is a poetic device that is defined as the repetition of two similar sounds in two or more different words. Additional lesson topics: Meter in poetry; Rhyme Schemes 62 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment A
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment B
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 7 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 7: Rhyme and Meter

Lesson 8: Symbolism and Archetypes

Symbolism in poetry is defined as a way to write about, or show something, that is already tangible, but to show it in a new light. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 8 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 8: Symbolism and Archetypes

Lesson 9: Cultural Concepts

In this lesson, we're going to discuss the cultural influences of some poetry, as well as learn the forms associated with different cultures. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 9 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 9: Cultural Concepts

Lesson 10: Parody and Translation

Parody is the imitation of another body f work, either by another writer or of another style. It relies on deliberate exaggeration to achieve a satirical, comical effect. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 10 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 10: Parody and Translation

Lesson 11: Free Verse and Blank Verse

Although free verse and blank verse both contain non-rhyming verse, there is a difference, as you'll learn in this lesson. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 11 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 11: Free Verse and Blank Verse

Lesson 12: Sound and Meaning

There are two basic effects that should be achieved in any poem. Those two effects are sound and meaning. 48 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Review Practice Worksheet: TURNINGLANGUAGEINTOPOETRY.doc
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 12 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 12: Sounds and Meaning

Lesson 13: Types of Poetry and Verse

In this lesson, we're going to list the different types of poetry, such as a haiku or a sonnet. Additional lesson topics: Pyrokinection; Types of Poetry Examples 79 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Review Practice Worksheet: READINGANDVERBALTECHNIQUES.doc
  • Lesson discussions: Your Opinion Matters: Course Rating; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Complete Assignment: Lesson 13 Essay
  • Assessment: Lesson 13: Types of Poetry and Verse
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Identify and demonstrate irony and tone.
  • Identify and demonstrate denotation and connotation.
  • Describe literal and figurative meanings.
  • Define poetic devices A-Z.
  • Describe rhyme and meter.
  • Describe symbolism and archetypes.
  • Describe cultural concepts.
  • Summarize parody and translation.
  • Describe and demonstrate free verse and blank verse.
  • Describe sounds and meaning.
  • Define types of poetry and verse.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Poetry Writing 101
Course Number: 9770558
Lessons Rating: 4.6 / 5 Stars (2,177 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: December 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 1.7 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dana Kristan
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "As a beginner poet, this was exactly the course I needed to help develop my knowledge and skills. The course material provided was excellent, as well as the positive feedback from my instructor. I appreciated how quickly assignments and exams were marked. I have printed off course material to use as reference to help me develop my skills and own work. Thank you and I look forward to taking another course sometime soon!" -- Tracey T.
  • "I loved the course. Very informative and definitely be of help to me in writing my own poetry. Instructor was very supportive and I appreciated her comments." -- Ken V.
  • "The instructor provided feedback on all essays and many exams. That's not only helpful (you get a feeling of whether you're on the right track.. or not), but encouraging as well." -- Jonathan S.
  • "This instructor was so knowledgeable as far as explaining all the vocabulary involved in the many forms of poetry." -- Annie P.
  • "Fantastic course and instructor." -- Lori B.
  • "Instructor really inspired confidence." -- Peter D.
  • "I enjoyed having you as a teacher thank you very much." -- Susan B.
  • "Very efficient." -- Richard W.
  • "I really appreciated that the instructor asked for essays in each section. This clearly demonstrates much more commitment to teaching the course than self grading T/F and Multiple Choice exams - though these were used as well...I sought assistance from the Instructor so often I was concerned about being a pest. Without fail, the instructor was there with direct answers or responses, and though I'm certain she had other priorities, I always got a response NLT @12 hrs. Amazing commitment - almost like being in the classroom." -- William O.
  • "I think that the whole thing was useful to me. I think the instructor was excellent in this field of study...she really knew what she was doing, and what she was talking about." -- Joslyn A.
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