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Teaching the Art of Poetry: The Moves Paperback – December 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0805833379 ISBN-10: 0805833374 Edition: 0th

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Teaching the Art of Poetry: The Moves + Reading Shakespeare Film First + Doing Literary Criticism: Helping Students Engage with Challenging Texts [With CDROM]
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805833374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805833379
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Each of the chapters is richly illustrated with complete poems....Wormser, a strong poet himself...comes at his subject from both sides, with classroom experience at all levels and as facilitator of workshops for teachers....I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the art of poetry from an insider.
Beloit Poetry Journal

In endorsing books in the past, I have resolutely avoided the word 'invaluable'; but in the case of Teaching the Art of Poetry such resistance is impossible, for there exists no more valuable guide to poetry for the classroom teacher (nor, arguably, anyone else). The authors--with a refreshing emphasis on this art as a physical one--acutely analyze the multiple components that constitute an achieved poem. Never condescending or arcane, this book may transform the historically awkward process of teaching and learning poetry into the joyful experience that both these fine writers have obviously experienced themselves.
Sydney Lea
Founding Editor, The New England Review

Unique....The first comprehensive presentation of how to use poetic practices and the language of poetry in teaching students about poetry. This process will not only help students understand poetry, but also to enjoy it. The authors' writing has a lyrical quality that makes it a pleasant read. The quality and clarity are very appropriate for an audience of high school English or prospective English teachers....A wonderful resource.
Terrell Young
Washington State University

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Selena Demchak on April 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have taught poetry-writing for years and have found little on the market of any use until The Moves. Before using this text, I relied on a gut sense of what exercises might work with high school kids and on reading them lots of examples of poetry I thought they would enjoy. What is exceptional about this book is, first of all, its eloquence: teaching aside, I'd recommend this text to anyone who simply loves rich, sensual language; clearly, honest-to-God poets wrote it. (How often has anyone been inspired by a textbook?) The exercises ask the student to examine professional poetry in fresh ways, and each chapter deals with a specific writing skill; for example, narrating, organization, endings. The chapter called "Architecture" is especially well done. Highly recommended for high school English teachers and for any student of poetry.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kerry L. Thomas on January 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
Imagine this: In an inner city classroom, students examining a haiku debate over denotation and connotation of words (one boy looks up a word, then cross-references all words in the definition), mood and atmosphere, use and significance of rhyme, syntax and word placement, purpose of and meaning from punctuation marks, imagery, shape and symbol. How does this happen? With activities from Baron Wormser and David Cappella's book Teaching the Art of Poetry: The Moves. No magic or experience required.
Based on the premise that poetry contains all the essentials for understanding language and how we use it, Teaching the Art of Poetry explains how teachers can create "poetry-based classrooms" to raise language learning to higher levels of critical thinking and analysis. Compact and easy to use, each chapter begins with an essay on an element of language/poetry from grammar, punctuation and capitalization to details, metaphor, image and sound as well as techniques specific to poetry such as stanzas and form. Wormser and Cappella, however, understand the plight of overburdened teachers; those who have little time for reading may skim the essay and skip to each chapter's classroom exercises, lesson plans and bibliography. The application exercises are clear, simple and easy to implement without the use of extra planning or materials, yet they guarantee to change the way students think and learn about language, which influences everything else they do in an English class. The potential is exponential.
After carefully perusing almost every book for middle and secondary English found at the National Council of Teachers of English, November 2000, Teaching the Art of Poetry clearly wins as the most useful book exhibited. Rarely does one find such an invaluable gem in educational literature, containing sound pedagogy, brave technique, and practical applications to transform the language classroom. Teaching the Art of Poetry is a must for all teachers of English!
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By Poet Enthusiast on April 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
This was not as advertised and was more or less a skeleton of what I expected a quality book of this subject matter would be.
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