Author: Robert Pinsky
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: 2014-08-19
Genre: Literary Criticism
The Poet Laureate's clear and entertaining account of how poetry works. "Poetry is a vocal, which is to say a bodily, art," Robert Pinsky declares in The Sounds of Poetry. "The medium of poetry is the human body: the column of air inside the chest, shaped into signifying sounds in the larynx and the mouth. In this sense, poetry is as physical or bodily an art as dancing." As Poet Laureate, Pinsky is one of America's best spokesmen for poetry. In this fascinating book, he explains how poets use the "technology" of poetry--its sounds--to create works of art that are "performed" in us when we read them aloud. He devotes brief, informative chapters to accent and duration, syntax and line, like and unlike sounds, blank and free verse. He cites examples from the work of fifty different poets--from Shakespeare, Donne, and Herbert to W. C. Williams, Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, C. K. Williams, Louise Glück, and Frank Bidart. This ideal introductory volume belongs in the library of every poet and student of poetry.
"Read a poem to yourself in the middle of the night. Turn on a single lamp and read it while you're alone in an otherwise dark room or while someone sleeps next to you. Say it over to yourself in a place where silence reigns and the din of culture—the constant buzzing noise that surrounds you—has momentarily stopped. This poem has come from a great distance to find you." So begins this astonishing book by one of our leading poets and critics. In an unprecedented exploration of the genre, Hirsch writes about what poetry is, why it matters, and how we can open up our imaginations so that its message—which is of vital importance in day-to-day life—can reach us and make a difference. For Hirsch, poetry is not just a part of life, it is life, and expresses like no other art our most sublime emotions. In a marvelous reading of world poetry, including verse by such poets as Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, Pablo Neruda, William Wordsworth, Sylvia Plath, Charles Baudelaire, and many more, Hirsch discovers the meaning of their words and ideas and brings their sublime message home into our hearts. A masterful work by a master poet, this brilliant summation of poetry and human nature will speak to all readers who long to place poetry in their lives but don't know how to read it.
Author: John Hollander
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2014-09-30
Genre: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES
Poet John Hollander surveys the schemes, patterns, and forms of English verse in this classic text, illustrating each variation with an original and witty self-descriptive example. In new essays for this fourth edition, J. D. McClatchy and Richard Wilbur each offer a personal take on why the book has played such an important role in the education of young poets and student scholars. “How lucky the young poet who discovers this wisest and most lighthearted of manuals.”—James Merrill “Marvelously comprehensive, clarifying and useful, and a delight to read.”—John Reardon, Los Angeles Times Book Review “A virtuoso performance and a mandatory text for poetry readers and practioners alike.”—ALA Booklist
A collection of revised and expanded writings culled from the author's popular Washington Post Book World "Poet's Choice" column demonstrates how poetry responds to world challenges and introduces the work of more than 130 writers. By the author of How to Read a Poem.
Write poetry in the great metrical tradition of Dante, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Frost, and the poets of the current Formalist revival &break;&break;In this contemporary guide, you'll learn how to write metrical poetry in all the major forms, from blank verse and quatrains to sonnets and villanelles. Each chapter provides step-by-step instruction that's accessible and easy to understand for even the most beginning poet. &break;&break;This book includes unique features difficult to find anywhere else: &break; Essential but non-intimidating instruction on meter and rhyme&break; Focused assignments detailing how to make your first attempt at a specific form&break; Illuminating discussions on pop culture, figures of speech, difficult themes, and other important topics&break; An engaging overview of poetry's history, and why it's important to learn the traditional forms &break;&break;Complementing the instruction are many classic and contemporary poems, including recent work by Richard Wilbur, Wendy Cope, X.J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia, Rachel Hadas, Wyatt Prunty, Alicia Stallings, and many others. &break;&break;Writing Metrical Poetry is the perfect course in metrical poetry for the person working alone or working in the classroom.
Few poets have as much to tell us about the intricate relationship between the African American past and present as Jay Wright. His poems weave a rich fabric of personal history using diverse materials drawn from African, Native American, and European sources. Scholarly, historical, intuitive, and emotional, his work explores territories in which rituals of psychological and spiritual individuation find a new synthesis in the construction of cultural values. Never an ideologue but always a poet of vision, his imagination shows us a way to rejoice and strengthen ourselves in our common humanity. Here, together for the first time, are Wright's previously published collections -- The Homecoming Singer (1971), Soothsayers and Omens (1976), Explications/Interpretations (1984), Dimensions of History (1976), The Double Invention of Komo (1980), Elaine's Book (1988), and Boleros (1991) -- along with the new poems of Transformations (1997). By presenting Wright's work as a whole, this collection reveals the powerful consistency of his theme -- a spiritual or intellectual quest for personal development -- as each book builds solidly upon the previous one. Wright examines history from a multicultural perspective, attempting to conquer a sense of exclusion -- from society and his own cultural identity -- and find solace and accord by linking American society to African traditions. He believes that a poem must articulate the vital rhythms of the culture it depicts and is dedicated to a pursuit of poetic forms that embody the cadence of African American culture.
A collection of poems by women belonging to the New Formalism movement. One of their number, Sonia Sanchez, writes: "I say, step back sisters, we're rising from the dead, / I say, step back Johnnies, we're dancing on our heads."
Author: Robert Pinsky
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2013-08-05
“Magnificent . . . poems to inspire [with] brief and brilliant, offhand notes about how to read them.”—Alan Cheuse, NPR Quick, joyful, and playfully astringent, with surprising comparisons and examples, this collection takes an unconventional approach to the art of poetry. Instead of rules, theories, or recipes, Singing School emphasizes ways to learn from great work: studying magnificent, monumentally enduring poems and how they are made— in terms borrowed from the “singing school” of William Butler Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium.” Robert Pinsky’s headnotes for each of the 80 poems and his brief introductions to each section take a writer’s view of specific works: William Carlos Williams’s “Fine Work with Pitch and Copper” for intense verbal music; Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” for wild imagination in matter-of-fact language; Robert Southwell’s “The Burning Babe” for surrealist aplomb; Wallace Stevens’s “The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm” for subtlety in meter. Included are poems by Aphra Behn, Allen Ginsberg, George Herbert, John Keats, Mina Loy, Thomas Nashe, and many other master poets. This anthology respects poetry’s mysteries in two senses of the word: techniques of craft and strokes of the inexplicable.
Comedian and actor Stephen Fry?s witty and practical guide, now in paperback, gives the aspiring poet or student the tools and confidence to write and understand poetry. Stephen Fry believes that if one can speak and read English, one can write poetry. In The Ode Less Travelled, he invites readers to discover the delights of writing poetry for pleasure and provides the tools and confidence to get started. Through enjoyable exercises, witty insights, and simple step-by-step advice, Fry introduces the concepts of Metre, Rhyme, Form, Diction, and Poetics. Most of us have never been taught to read or write poetry, and so it can seem mysterious and intimidating. But Fry, a wonderfully competent, engaging teacher and a writer of poetry himself, sets out to correct this problem by explaining the various elements of poetry in simple terms, without condescension. Fry?s method works, and his enthusiasm is contagious as he explores different forms of poetry: the haiku, the ballad, the villanelle, and the sonnet, among many others. Along the way, he introduces us to poets we?ve heard of but never read. The Ode Less Travelled is not just the survey course you never took in college, it?s a lively celebration of poetry that makes even the most reluctant reader want to pick up a pencil and give it a try.
Author: Mary Oliver
Publisher: Gardners Books
Release Date: 2004
Mary Oliver is one of America's best-loved poets, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Her luminous poetry celebrates nature and beauty, love and the spirit, silence and wonder, extending the visionary American tradition of Whitman, Emerson, Frost and Emily Dickinson. Her extraordinary poetry is nourished by her intimate knowledge and minute daily observation of the New England coast, its woods and ponds, its birds and animals, plants and trees.
Author: Timothy Steele
Publisher: Ohio Univ Pr
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Perfect for the general reader of poetry, students and teachers of literature, and aspiring poets, All the Fun’s in How You Say a Thing is a lively and comprehensive study of versification by one of our best contemporary practitioners of traditional poetic forms. Emphasizing both the coherence and the diversity of English metrical practice from Chaucer’s time to ours, Timothy Steele explains how poets harmonize the fixed units of meter with the variable flow of idiomatic speech. He examines the ways in which poets have used meter, rhyme, and stanza to communicate and enhance meaning. Steele illuminates as well many practical, theoretical, and historical issues in English prosody, without ever losing sight of the fundamental pleasures, beauties, and insights that fine poems offer us. Written lucidly, with a generous selection of helpful scansions and explanations of the metrical effects of the great poets of the English language, All the Fun’s in How You Say a Thing is not only a valuable handbook on technique; it is also a wide-ranging study of English verse and a mine of entertaining information for anyone wishing more fully to write, enjoy, understand, or teach poetry.