Terry Eagleton How to Read a Poem

ISBN 13: 9781405151405

How to Read a Poem

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9781405151405: How to Read a Poem
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Lucid, entertaining and full of insight, How To Read A Poem is designed to banish the intimidation that too often attends the subject of poetry, and in doing so to bring it into the personal possession of the students and the general reader.


  • Offers a detailed examination of poetic form and its relation to content.
  • Takes a wide range of poems from the Renaissance to the present day and submits them to brilliantly illuminating closes analysis.
  • Discusses the work of major poets, including John Milton, Alexander Pope, John Keats, Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson, W.B. Yeats, Robert Frost, W.H.Auden, Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, and many more.
  • Includes a helpful glossary of poetic terms.

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From the Back Cover:

In this witty, accessible book, Terry Eagleton argues that the art of reading poetry is as much in danger of becoming extinct as thatching or clog dancing.

On the whole, students today are not taught how to be sensitive to language - how to read a poem with due attention to its tone, mood, pitch, pace, rhythm and texture, rather than just to 'what it says'. To demonstrate how this works in practice, the author takes a wide range of poems from the Renaissance to the present day and submits them to brilliantly illuminating close analysis. As one of the world's leading literary theorists, Eagleton also summons the aid of such pioneering critics as the Russian Formalists to raise some provocative general questions:

  • What is poetry, and how does it differ from prose?
  • Is there a language peculiar to poetry?
  • What exactly do we mean by imagery?

Lucid, entertaining and full of insight, How To Read A Poem is designed to banish the intimidation that too often attends the subject of poetry, and in doing so to bring it into the personal possession of the students and the general reader.

About the Author:

Terry Eagleton is John Edward Taylor Professor of English Literature at the University of Manchester. His recent publications include The English Novel (2004), Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic (2003), The Idea of Culture (2000), Scholars and Rebels in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (1999), Literary Theory: An Introduction (Second Edition, 1996) and The Illusions of Postmodernism (1996), all published by Blackwell Publishing.

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