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An Introduction to English Poetry Paperback – April 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374528896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374528898
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #936,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Fenton is primarily concerned with the whys of English verse. Why is iambic pentameter the standard line in English? Why do modern poets recite as they do (flatly)? Why are some poetic forms more versatile in English than others? Why has poetic drama in English been moribund since the seventeenth century? If he doesn't have definitive or original answers to such questions, he always speaks authoritatively about them as a poet and broad-ranging student of poetry. He knows and practices what he talks about. He gets history into the discussion by discriminating between what can and can't now be read comprehensibly--that is, between later-than-fifteenth-century verse and earlier poetry, even Chaucer's, which is pronounced very differently--and in the chronological range, from Elizabethan lyrics to a contemporary experimental sonnet, of the poems he quotes to exemplify different forms, meters, and rhythmic variations within the verse line. John Hollander's Rhyme's Reason (3d ed., 2001) remains the best primer on poetic forms per se, but to understand form in English verse, Fenton's your man. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"[Fenton's] essays educate, enlighten, surprise and thrill, unfailingly." --Robin Lippincott, The New York Times Book Review

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Sanchez on November 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fenton writes in a way that is not too difficult to understand for those of you who are just beginning to study poetry. He's engaging and interesting while he skims over the basics and sinks into the more difficult aspects of English poetry. If you are the kind of person who would rather read a book than study a text book this is the perfect choice for you. This book was required for an English class that I was taking and I found that I was able to understand the more complicated poets a little easier than I have with any other texbook I've read.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By adead_poet@hotmail.com on August 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
Fenton's Intro to English Poetry is an interesting book to read, but not because it will teach you anything. It is too short. He covers just about everything, but each chapter (which covers a different topic) is only a couple of pages long. He just doesn't go into it enough. This book is not for teaching. This book is not for beginners. What this book is for is for those who know what they are doing or have an idea and are interested in what Fenton has to say. And it is interesting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having seen the chapter headings online, I had higher expectations for the breadth of this book, but what he does discuss is fun to read and he has an engaging style.
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By Kaylee Childress on September 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pretty cool book. If you like poems, and want to get more involved in studying them, then it's a good buy for you.
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