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Poem, Revised: 54 Poems, Revisions, Discussions Paperback – July 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1933338255 ISBN-10: 1933338253 Edition: 1st

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Poem, Revised: 54 Poems, Revisions, Discussions + Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within + A Poetry Handbook
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Street Press, LLC; 1st edition (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933338253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933338255
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,914,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I highly recommend [this book] for anyone who wants to write their own poetry."  —The Blue Morpho, The Tenacious Writer Blog

About the Author

Robert Hartwell Fiske is the editor of The Vocabula Review, a journal about the English language. He is the author of The Dictionary of Concise Writing, The Dictionary of Disagreeable English, and The Dimwit's Dictionary. He lives in Rockport, Massachusetts. Laura Cherry is the author of What We Planted, winner of the 2002 Philbrick Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in such publications as Agenda, Argestes, Asphodel, and Forklift: Ohio and in the anthology Present Tense. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on August 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Robert Hartwell Fiske and Laura Cherry have assembled a bonanza of first person accounts from contemporary poets discussing how they revise. It is a generous and often very wise book, which will repay many readings. I predict that it will become one of those books often used in poetry workshops and in similar mentor-student interactions, especially for those faced with the eternal dilemma of students who believe their work has come down to them, like Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments, directly from divine inspiration.

There are no superstar poets here, just hardworking journeymen and women talking about the problem that trips us all up at one time or another, how to get yourself out of the habit of loving your own words too much.

There is not a huge range of poetry either, but we've all written poems about nature, landscapes, art, personal problems, politics, and of course, about the act of writing poetry itself, especially in this modern world which has devalued poetry to the extent that it is generally discounted as a profession.

Some first drafts are presented with their pants down, as it were, all the original faults and pretensions left in--a clever designer has been able to include some of these in facsimile, so you see the regretful crossouts, the angry underscorings, the words added in desperate hope of recovery. Other writers give the original workshop assignments, prompts, or exercises that occasioned their pieces, and tell how they either obeyed the instructions or went out on their own, like birds on a limb. No two accounts are identical, though many share the same general linear narrative--I wrote something that didn't work, I fixed it, it's fine now.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth F. Martin on September 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book got me writing again. If you ever put pen to paper and have the unfortunate characteristic of being your own worst critic, like me, you know all too well how easy it is to get discouraged. The detailed and personal descriptions of the creative process provided by the writers of these wonderful poems are the most valuable part of the book.
I particularly enjoyed Rhoda Greenstone's A Letter From L.A., and even more so her explanation of how the four versions came to be. Having never been trained in the craft, I always thought that great writing comes out all at once like a great photo. So it's back to the old notebook for me, and I think I'll take it to those back roads in the Santa Inez mountains for a little inspiration.
If you know anyone with even a little interest in writing poetry, buy this book for them as a gift. It's a real motivator.

Ken in L.A.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Perkins on August 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this cover is a great indicator of the clever premise behind "Poem, Revised"
If you are at all interested in the construction of a poem, you will love this book. it's like eating a wonderful pie and then getting the recipe for it!

Beverly Perkins

Poem, Revised: 54 Poems, Revisions, Discussions
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tola on February 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have read many poetry related handbooks, and from my perspective this one clearly stands out. While there are many books concentrating on the matter of style, topics, prosody and other linguistic or theoretical aspects of poetry, this book is the only one that concentrates on the actual work of writing and rewriting a poem.

Here the poets themselves tell you step by step, how their selected poems were written, rewritten, written once more and written yet again. And during each step the poem approaches its maturity, its clearness and effectiveness. It is interesting to see all the aspects that the poets consider here when choosing just the right word into just the right place, or what kind of creative process is behind the final structure of a poem.

This book really teaches you the value of rubbish bin - how your poems benefit from trashing the parts and expressions that do now work for the poem, and refining and cultivating the parts that do. It is rare that the first version of a poem is the best it can be, but trough revision almost any poem can grow from gray potential into true art.

I just love this book.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. K. Walle on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
I thought I sent this right away, sorry. I received the book the next day. If it was used, someone must have been very careful, as it looked brand new. I love buying from Amazon, as I always get served faster than they say they will and it is always high quality. Thank you so very very much.
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