Poet, Thomas Carper, and scholar, Derek Attridge, join forces in Meter and Meaning to present an illuminating and user-friendly way to explore the rhythms of poetry in English. They begin by showing the value of performing any poem aloud, so that we can sense its unique use of rhythm. From this starting point they suggest an entirely fresh, jargon-free approach to reading poetry. Illustrating their 'beat/offbeat' method with a series of exercises, they help readers to appreciate the use of rhythm in poems of all periods and to understand the vital relationship between meter and meaning.
Beginning with the very basics, Meter and Meaning enables a smooth progression to an advanced knowledge of poetic rhythms. It is the essential guide to meter for anyone who wants to study, write, better appreciate, or simply enjoy poetry. Carper and Attridge make studying meter a pleasure and reading poetry a revelation.
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Thomas Carper is the author of three volumes of metrical poetry including Distant Blue, recipient of the 2003 Richard Wilbur Award, Fiddle Lane and From Nature. He is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Southern Maine. Derek Attridge is Professor of English at the University of York, UK. He is the author of the highly influential texts on beat prosody, The Rhythms of English Poetry and Poetic Rhythm: An Introduction and has also published books on literary theory, sixteenth-century poetry and twentieth-century fiction.Review:
This is splendidly useful and elegantly thought-out introduction to the understanding of the rhythmic fabric of poetry in English, and of the way in which rhythmic patterns and effects become part of the very substance of what poetry says, rather than some kind of accompaniment to it. The authors have deployed sophisticated linguistic knowledge, literary sensitivity and poetic insight in the most clear and simple language possible, and their sample analyses are immediately comprehensible and enlightening. Anyone interested in poetry should acquire the knowledge so beautifully imparted here.
–John Hollander, Yale University
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