Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters

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9780393050684: Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters

A bold new approach to writing (and reading) poetry based on great poetry of the past.

Quick, joyful, and playfully astringent, with surprising comparisons and examples, this collection takes an unconventional approach to the art of poetry. Instead of rules, theories, or recipes, Singing School emphasizes ways to learn from great work: studying magnificent, monumentally enduring poems and how they are made― in terms borrowed from the “singing school” of William Butler Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium.”

Robert Pinsky’s headnotes for each of the 80 poems and his brief introductions to each section take a writer’s view of specific works: William Carlos Williams’s “Fine Work with Pitch and Copper” for intense verbal music; Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” for wild imagination in matter-of-fact language; Robert Southwell’s “The Burning Babe” for surrealist aplomb; Wallace Stevens’s “The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm” for subtlety in meter. Included are poems by Aphra Behn, Allen Ginsberg, George Herbert, John Keats, Mina Loy, Thomas Nashe, and many other master poets.

This anthology respects poetry’s mysteries in two senses of the word: techniques of craft and strokes of the inexplicable.

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About the Author:

Robert Pinsky is the author of eight collections of poetry including, most recently, his Selected Poems. His translation The Inferno of Dante won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry. His CD PoemJazz, with Grammy-winning pianist Laurence Hobgood, was released in 2012. As United States Poet Laureate, Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project (www.favoritepoem.org), in which thousands of Americans shared their favorite poems. That project gave rise to the previous anthologies, Americans’ Favorite Poems and An Invitation to Poetry, with each poem accompanied by readers’ comments. Pinsky teaches at Boston University.

From Booklist:

In this sparkling teaching anthology, Pinsky—poet, poet laureate (1997–2000), and poetry editor for Slate—focuses on how poets read poetry in order to learn how to write poetry, taking his instructive title from William Butler Yeats: “Nor is there singing school but studying / Monuments of its own magnificence.” Pinsky has selected a tremendously fresh and exciting variety of salient poems and organized them into sections titled “Freedom,” “Listening,” “Form,” and “Dreaming Things Up.” He introduces each of the 80 selections with an illuminating bit of analysis (Robert Frost is “a sexier, more adventuresome poet than he may get credit for”) and a challenge: Can you “write something as master-of-fact, yet as far-out” as Emily Dickinson? Knowledgeable and puckish, Pinsky seeks to foster a deeper sense of the meaning of words and a fuller understanding of their “feel and aroma” while praising the imagination for how it “transfigures” perception. With brief bios of the poets, from Sappho to Andrew Marvell, Langston Hughes, and Marianne Moore, this stimulating and creative guide will intrigue and enlighten everyone interested in poetry. --Donna Seaman

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Quick, joyful, and playfully astringent, with surprising comparisons and examples, this collection takes an unconventional approach to the art of poetry. Instead of rules, theories, or recipes, Singing School emphasizes ways to learn from great work: studying magnificent, monumentally enduring poems and how they are made- in terms borrowed from the singing school of William Butler Yeats s Sailing to Byzantium. Robert Pinsky s headnotes for each of the 80 poems and his brief introductions to each section take a writer s view of specific works: William Carlos Williams s Fine Work with Pitch and Copper for intense verbal music; Emily Dickinson s Because I Could Not Stop for Death for wild imagination in matter-of-fact language; Robert Southwell s The Burning Babe for surrealist aplomb; Wallace Stevens s The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm for subtlety in meter. Included are poems by Aphra Behn, Allen Ginsberg, George Herbert, John Keats, Mina Loy, Thomas Nashe, and many other master poets. This anthology respects poetry s mysteries in two senses of the word: techniques of craft and strokes of the inexplicable. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780393050684

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Quick, joyful, and playfully astringent, with surprising comparisons and examples, this collection takes an unconventional approach to the art of poetry. Instead of rules, theories, or recipes, Singing School emphasizes ways to learn from great work: studying magnificent, monumentally enduring poems and how they are made- in terms borrowed from the singing school of William Butler Yeats s Sailing to Byzantium. Robert Pinsky s headnotes for each of the 80 poems and his brief introductions to each section take a writer s view of specific works: William Carlos Williams s Fine Work with Pitch and Copper for intense verbal music; Emily Dickinson s Because I Could Not Stop for Death for wild imagination in matter-of-fact language; Robert Southwell s The Burning Babe for surrealist aplomb; Wallace Stevens s The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm for subtlety in meter. Included are poems by Aphra Behn, Allen Ginsberg, George Herbert, John Keats, Mina Loy, Thomas Nashe, and many other master poets. This anthology respects poetry s mysteries in two senses of the word: techniques of craft and strokes of the inexplicable. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780393050684

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