This compact volume of just under 500 pages takes the student on a guided tour of poetry. Sixteen chapters provide detailed explanations of poetic elements and illustrate them using the works of great English and American writers. There are units on understanding poetry, denotation, connotation, imagery, figurative language, allusion, tone, musical devices, rhythm, meter, evaluating quality, and much more.
The carefully selected poets, presented non-chronologically, include many canonical figures, with an emphasis on the romantic and modern eras: Shakespeare, Spenser, Donne, Blake, Marvell, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Browning, Tennyson, Whitman, Dickinson, Hardy, Housman, Yeats, Frost, Stevens, Eliot, MacLeish, Cummings, Hughes, Auden, Roethke, Thomas, Rich, Plath, Larkin, Williams, Ferlinghetti, and many others.
A separate section provides excellent step-by-step advice on writing about poetry, and nearly 100 pages of poems are offered for additional study. The book concludes with a glossary of literary terms and a full index of authors, titles, and first lines. Highly recommended.
on June 26, 2015
This book is simply a classic, which deserves to be in it's 11th edition and a must for anyone wanting to study poetry. The selections and commentary are excellent. The lessons range from simple limericks (an excellent form to drive some egregious professor mad) to the sublime. (Does that mean below the lime?) So whether you have aspirations of becoming Hoboken's answer to The Bard or merely want to learn how to appreciate good poetry, this is the book for you.