Best books on reading poetry - books you can use without paying the big bucks for an MFA program:
How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry, Edward Hirsch.
Hirsch presents poems that he cares deeply about, and that are "emblematic because they suggest something crucial about the nature of poetry itself." Hirsch writes, "I have listened hard and let the poems inhabit me. This book is a record of my initiations, encounters, responses, experiences. It is a record of my exaltations."
Making Your Own Days, Kenneth Koch.
Lucid and enthralling book on the pleasures of reading and writing poetry. Koch celebrates the idea of poetry as a separate language, and thereby clarifies how poems are written and can be read. Entrancing selection of poems from Sappho (7th century B.C.) through Li Bai (8th century C.E.) to Arthur Rimbaud (19th century), plus many modern poems.
Koch's own remarkable One Train May Hide Another (1994) is one of the finest modern poems - it still takes away my breath. About "One Train," his publisher (Knopf) says "it is both a treatise on how to read poetry and an awareness-heightening celebration of the hidden and the unexpected." Koch died on July 6th, 2002. His publisher also says, "Koch was not just a prolific poet, but a teacher of poetry, both in his years as a professor at Columbia and in the projects he undertook to open poetry to readers of all ages and backgrounds."
However, he continues, "principles may be discerned in ... the way people actually speak, or in the lines poets have written. If a good line contradicts a principle one has formulated, then the principle, by which I mean a kind of working idea, should be discarded or abandoned."
Also of great importance is Pinsky's observation, "No instruction manual can teach as much as careful attention to the sounds in even one great poem."
The first third of the book discusses and illustrates six "Elements of Relation and Resemblance," namely the line, syntax, diction, trope, rhetoric, and rhythm. Like Molly Peacock, Kinzie explores how lines and sentences work with and against each other.
The middle third concerns syllable and stress. It includes a chapter on "the four freedoms of free verse," which makes some sense of what sometimes seems to be the anarchy of free verse.
The final third contains exercises for writing in form, together with a large glossary and an annotated bibliography.
Poetry index. Books on How to Read. Books on How to Write. How to Listen. How to Write - A Recipe.
|How to write specific forms: Haibun. Haiku. Hay(na)ku. Rengay. Tanka.|
|New books on writing poetry. Books of Poetry Form.|
|Copyright © 2002-2013 by J. Zimmerman.|
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