A Poet's Guide to Poetry (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)

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9780226437392: A Poet's Guide to Poetry (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
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A Poet's Guide to Poetry brings Mary Kinzie's expertise as poet, critic, and director of the creative writing program at Northwestern University to bear in a comprehensive reference work for any writer wishing to better understand poetry. Detailing the formal concepts of poetry and methods of poetic analysis, she shows how the craft of writing can guide the art of reading poems. Using examples from the major traditions of lyric and meditative poetry in English from the medieval period to the present, Kinzie considers the sounds and rhythms of poetry along with the ideas and thought-units within poems. Kinzie shares her own successful classroom tactics—encouraging readers to approach a poem as if it were provisional.

The three parts of A Poet's Guide to Poetry lead the reader through a carefully planned introduction to the ways we understand poetry. The first section provides careful, step-by-step instruction to familiarize students with the formal elements of poems, from the most obvious feature through the most devious.

Part I presents the style, grammar, and rhetoric of poems with a wealth of examples from various literary periods.

Part II discusses the way the elements of a poem are controlled in time through a careful explanation and exploration of meter and rhythm. The "four freedoms" of free verse are also examined.

Part III closes the book with helpful practicum chapters on writing in form. Included here are writing exercises for beginning as well as advanced writers, a dictionary of poetic terms replete with poetry examples, and an annotated bibliography for further explanatory reading.

This useful handbook is an ideal reference for literature and writing students as well as practicing poets.

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About the Author:

Mary Kinzieis a poet and critic.  She is professor of English and director of creative writing at Northwestern University, where she teaches poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.  She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry and the Folger Shakespeare Library’s O. B. Hardison Poetry Award.

From Publishers Weekly:

Known for her poetry (Ghost Ship) and for cogent critical essays (The Cure of Poetry in an Age of Prose), Kinzie here joins the crowd of poets explaining poetry to beginners (see "notes" below)Aand distinguishes herself. Mixing her own theories in with more widely shared axioms, Kinzie manages to cover the basics while shedding new light on line break, syntax and sentence. "Understanding poems as both embedded in progression and indebted to surprise," Kinzie shows how features like rhyme work sometimes as foreground, sometimes as backgroundAphenomena she dubs "recession of technique." Anticipating the needs of students who will encounter her Guide as a textbook or reference work, Kinzie has wisely designed the book to be used alongside a comprehensive poetry anthology (and recommends several). Her quotes and references come mostly and unapologetically from a particular tradition that emphasizes form and control: Thomas Hardy, Louise Bogan, Edwin Muir and the remarkable Julia Randall turn up a lot, while Pound and Williams scarcely appear. Her Guide concludes with a set of provocative exercises, a glossary, and a very knowledgeable bibliography. But sophistication of argument, charming idiosyncrasies of taste, and a refusal to condescend are what really make Kinzie's book stand out.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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