Education: Teaching Poets

"Poeta nascitur, non fit,"* say the poets who consider themselves naturals. But can one poet teach another how to write? In the current issue of Poetry, two successful teachers say: yes—sometimes.

The class in poetry writing, says Theodore Roethke of the University of Washington, must be a "departure . . . from the ordinary run of things in a college—for almost all thinking has been directed toward analysis, a breaking-down, whereas the metaphor is a synthesis, a building up, a creation of a new world . . .

"Some [pupils] have difficulty verbalizing about the esthetic experience. But often their gropings make for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!