From Library Journal
Corn (Part of His Story, LJ 3/15/97), acclaimed poet and teacher, provides a quality guide to rhyme, rhythm, meter, and form for students, experienced readers, and practitioners of poetry. Not merely an introduction to verse form (a subcategory of prosody), this intelligent, user-friendly book guides readers through artistic conventions employed in shaping and measuring a poem. Ten chapters explore the complex and subtle merging of the oral and written English-language tradition into the rhythmic directives of the poet's craft. Corn's text is good-humored and accessible. His experience has deftly led him in organizing what may well be the finest general book available on prosody. Recommended for private, public, and academic libraries. [For a review of Corn's latest book of poetry, see p. 97 and for his first novel, see LJ 3/15/97.?Ed.]?Scott Hightower, NYU/Gallatin, New Yor.-?Scott Hightower, NYU/Gallatin, New York
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book shatters stereotypes equating the study of prosody with poetry boot camp and instead introduces the fine art of versification. In clear bell tones that are this master poet's rhythmic signature, nuances of rhyme, rhythm, and meter are conveyed in precise, tactile language sensitive to history and etymology. Usually dry definitions are transformed into subtle image schemes that work as superior mnemonic devices. We learn, for example, that "line" comes from the Latin linea, which is derived from the word for a thread of linen. Corn compares the composition of lines to weaving a thread slowly from left to right. In the hands of the skilled poet, a line's repeated "quick left reversal" at the text's margin can hypnotize, or summon the unconscious part of the mind. Metrical variations, usually muddled through by most texts, here receive their own lucid chapter that thoroughly prepares the poet for progressively more complex sections. By the book's end, Corn, magi-teacher and impeccable guide, has taught the novice to become artist and magician, wielding stress and syllable to spark "intuitive and technical lightning-flashes" and a "depth charge of insight" that leave the dreary formal footsteps of tradition far behind. Copyright © 1996, Boston Review. All rights reserved.
-- From The Boston Review