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The Teachers and Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms Paperback – June 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0915924608 ISBN-10: 0915924609 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Teachers & Writers Collaborative; 2 edition (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915924609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915924608
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A small wonder." -- Poetry Project Newsletter

"A treasure." -- Kliatt

"This colorful and entertaining reference work is what can what can happen when those who practice and preach poetry..." -- Teaching English in the Two-Year College

About the Author

Ron Padgett is Editor-in-Chief of the three-volume World Poets (Scribners). His many books of poetry include New & Selected Poems (Godine) and Great Balls of Fire (Coffee House). He is the translator of Blaise Cendrars's Complete Poems.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
This is a gem of a book.
jenny.loves.fiction
This book is excellent as a reference guide and text for both teachers and poets.
Sharon Palmeri
This is a very useful book for quickly looking up various forms of poetry.
Teacher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Siegel on March 7, 2005
No adequate superlative exists for this poetry handbook--simply the best on the market. Rarely does a writing handbook work for all age groups, but this solid one does. Even elementary teachers could use some of the poetic forms, such as couplets, haiku, and nonsense poems, for their classes, and, yet, professional writers can dip into this densely rich (yet compact) volume and pull out an appropriate form from the 75+ forms offered.

I have used this handbook for my college creative writing classes since 1998; as writing fads come and go, this poetry handbook endures because it offers a simple, yet interesting, approach to writing poetry: a short history of the form; a brief explanation on how the form works; when appropriate, a sample poem (or verses) showing the form in action; and, in some cases, a diagram for the more complicated forms, such as the sestina and pantoum.

Semester after semester, my students praise this book, and many decide to keep it for their libraries, instead of reselling it to the college bookstore. I keep searching, but I have not been able to find its fiction handbook counterpart. Ron Padgett has done a fine job of compiling the forms, researching their histories, and finding stellar sample poems to show how the forms work. I hope this handbook NEVER goes out of print!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Truncale VINE VOICE on March 26, 2010
First off, having read and reviewed numerous books on poetry, I have to say this is the best book I have ever read on poetic forms. This text explains the history and how to use each of the 74 basic forms.

Some of these include the abstract poem, the alphabet poem, the ballad, blank verse, blues poems, canto, canzone, chant, cinquain, light verse, quatrain, haiku, sonnet, tanka, renga and numerous other poetic forms.

The entries include examples from the legendary Shakespeare, Woody Guthrie, Edgar Allan Poe, John Milton, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Basho, John Keats, Dylan Thomas and many other famous poets.

One of the fantastic things about this book is how clear and direct the explanations are of each poetic form. Teachers of poetry will especially love this book.

In conclusion, this is a book for anyone interested in learning the history and basic principles of poetic forms. Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Season of the Warrior: A Poetic Tribute to Warriors).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. D. on August 26, 2012
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I suppose this isn't a bad book for the absolute beginner. That is, if you're looking for just a bare bones overview of many different forms or if you want something to flip through for ideas it's probably going to be helpful. There are also likely to be a few entries that you haven't heard of, though if you're familiar with much poetry that may only be because they're ridiculous. At times if does it's job as a launching pad, giving you just enough on blank verse or free verse to make you want to seek out more. The book contains all of the typical entries for Villanelles, Rondeaus, Sestinas and others you'd look for.

Personally, I'd hoped for something a little more comprehensive or serious. It seems like this book spends most of it's energy just trying to attract people to poetry at any cost rather than to build much knowledge for those already interested. There are a lot of entries in this book that just seem like filler. Entries for Rap and for Blues Poems may perhaps be useful for aliens or coma patients that have had no previous exposure to culture whatsoever. If that's not you, then rest assured that your own off hand notions of these will be more useful and truer to form. There are several entries for things I'd consider less "forms" themselves than effects used within forms, such as Metaphor, Allegory, Alliteration, Rhythm or Rhyme.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kansaspoet on October 19, 2008
I found that this is a good guide for teachers of poetry who desire to offer form poetry to students with little exposure to various forms. As one who has researched many forms, I was hoping to find unique forms within this book, which was not the case. It is a good foundational book for students and teachers, but for poets familiar with the more common forms and seeking to expand into new areas of poetic form, it is probably not the best of guides, which is why I have rated it a little lower.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jenny.loves.fiction on July 23, 2010
This is a gem of a book. Any writer or teacher of poetry will revel in the numerous poetic forms this book has to offer. The handbook presents over seventy forms of poetry with helpful explanations and examples. If you are a beginner hoping to learn how to write a poem and don't know where to start, this book will give you a valuable array of delightful choices from the avant-garde to the more traditional structures. It can be used as a reference book or a guide for writing actual poetry. Even professional poets can benefit from this book spawning new creative ideas through the use of more experimental forms. Many valuable examples from famous poems illustrate the various structures, giving a deeper, more thorough understanding of each form. I highly recommend this handbook for both writers and teachers of poetry.
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