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How to Read a Poem (Meridian) Paperback – April 1, 1984

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Burton Raffel has taught English, Classics, and Comparative Literature at universities in the United States, Israel, and Canada. His books include translations of Beowulf, Horace: Odes, Epodes, Epistles, Satires, The Complete Poetry and Prose of Chairil Anwar, From the Vietnamese, Ten Centuries of Poetry, The Complete Poetry of Osip Emilevich, Mandelstram (with Alla Burago), and Poems From the Old English and The Annotated Milton; several critical studies, Introduction to Poetry, How to Read a Poem, The Development of Modern Indonesian Poetry, and The Forked Tounge: A Study of the Translation Process; and Mia Poems, a volume of his own poetry. Mr. Raffel practiced law on Wall Street and taught in the Ford Foundation’s English Language Teacher Training Project in Indonesia.
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Product Details

  • Series: Meridian
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (April 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452010330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452010338
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By William Timothy Lukeman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is still one of the best introductions to poetry ever published -- clear, straightforward, intelligent, richly detailed & written in a distinctive voice. Whether you're a student or simply love poetry, this book will serve as your guide to the world of poetry, not only explaining how it works on a technical level, but on an emotional level as well. There's no dry, above-it-all, academic prose here! Raffel is fiercely engaged with poetry, deeply in love with its beauties & possibilities, and that comes through on every page. Opinionated at times? Yes, and his book is all the better for it. Even when I disagree with his comments on this poem or that poet, I recognize his insight & passion for this wonderful art form. You just won't find a better introduction than this one -- most highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
I am thrilled to see that this book is still in print. I found my old copy of it and have been using insights from it extensively to lecture in my Oral Interpretation of literature course. There are other fine books on prosody and the workings of poetry, but Raffel's presentation seems to work most effectively. The way the book is structured makes a big difference in introducing it to novices.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a holistic, round about approach, this method of analyzing poetry works. It doesn't have the traditional segments, and the writing seems to never quite get into the details. Just when I become interested in a poem, the author stops analyzing. This might be part of Burton's strategy. After all there are worlds of poems in the literary world. The choices of poetry is a good range, but he doesn't have a wide selection of contemporary, which I rather like.

Nevertheless, the author does enlighten. I can say that I have more under my belt than I did before, and I love the stuff.
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By A Customer on October 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
When I was studying "Introduction to Poetry", I turned to Burton Raffel's "How to Read a Poem," to get the information I needed. Lot's of examples and very informative. This book is a must for anyone wanting to learn about poetry.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Will recommend this book to any one who wants to learn about poems and wants to teach as well. It is a great book with lots of ideas. Thank you!
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