This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

Week 6: The Mark--Climax and Resolution

When does a poem miss its mark? When it fails to act--when the climax or realization of a poem is disorganized, requires rearrangement, needs punch. The turning point in a poem is a delicate thing. Pace, rising action, and context all play into a successful realization. A poet may also consider the resolution, or denouement of the action, in structuring their poem.  Otherwise poems can feel abrupt, or like they fall right off the page (or screen :-) ).

Explore the climax and resolution of the following two poems.
Poem 7: I Passed Three Girls Killing a Goat by Miriam Bird Greenberg
Poem 8: Turtle by Kay Ryan (I would also encourage you to listen to the audio!)
Where are the realizations and turns in the poem? What if the climax and resolution happened before it did? What if it didn’t happen at all? Recast the poem with different sense of the climax and resolution--feel free to change the details of the narrative.

Task Discussion