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Poetry for Dummies

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Sometimes it seems like there are as many definitions of poetry as there are poems. Coleridge defined poetry as "the best words in the best order." St. Augustine called it "the Devil's wine." For Shelley, poetry was "the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds." But no matter how you define it, poetry has exercised a hold upon the hearts and Sometimes it seems like there are as many definitions of poetry as there are poems. Coleridge defined poetry as "the best words in the best order." St. Augustine called it "the Devil's wine." For Shelley, poetry was "the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds." But no matter how you define it, poetry has exercised a hold upon the hearts and minds of people for more than five millennia. That's because for the attentive reader, poetry has the power to send chills shooting down the spine and lightning bolts flashing in the brain -- to throw open the doors of perception and hone our sensibilities to a scalpel's edge."Poetry For Dummies" is a great guide to reading and writing poems, not only for beginners, but for anyone interested in verse. From Homer to Basho, Chaucer to Rumi, Shelley to Ginsberg, it introduces you to poetry's greatest practitioners. It arms you with the tools you need to understand and appreciate poetry in all its forms, and to explore your own talent as a poet. Discover how to: Understand poetic language and formsInterpret poemsGet a handle on poetry through the agesFind poetry readings near youWrite your own poemsShop your work around to publishers Don't know the difference between an iamb and a trochee? Worry not, this friendly guide demystifies the jargon, and it covers a lot more ground besides, including: Understanding subject, tone, narrative; and poetic languageMastering the three steps to interpretationFacing the challenges of older poetryExploring 5,000 years of verse, from Mesopotamia to the global villageWriting open-form poetryWorking with traditional forms of verseWriting exercises for aspiring poetsGetting published From Sappho to Clark Coolidge, and just about everyone in between, "Poetry For Dummies" puts you in touch with the greats of modern and ancient poetry. Need guidance on composing a ghazal, a tanka, a sestina, or a psalm? This is the book for you.


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Sometimes it seems like there are as many definitions of poetry as there are poems. Coleridge defined poetry as "the best words in the best order." St. Augustine called it "the Devil's wine." For Shelley, poetry was "the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds." But no matter how you define it, poetry has exercised a hold upon the hearts and Sometimes it seems like there are as many definitions of poetry as there are poems. Coleridge defined poetry as "the best words in the best order." St. Augustine called it "the Devil's wine." For Shelley, poetry was "the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds." But no matter how you define it, poetry has exercised a hold upon the hearts and minds of people for more than five millennia. That's because for the attentive reader, poetry has the power to send chills shooting down the spine and lightning bolts flashing in the brain -- to throw open the doors of perception and hone our sensibilities to a scalpel's edge."Poetry For Dummies" is a great guide to reading and writing poems, not only for beginners, but for anyone interested in verse. From Homer to Basho, Chaucer to Rumi, Shelley to Ginsberg, it introduces you to poetry's greatest practitioners. It arms you with the tools you need to understand and appreciate poetry in all its forms, and to explore your own talent as a poet. Discover how to: Understand poetic language and formsInterpret poemsGet a handle on poetry through the agesFind poetry readings near youWrite your own poemsShop your work around to publishers Don't know the difference between an iamb and a trochee? Worry not, this friendly guide demystifies the jargon, and it covers a lot more ground besides, including: Understanding subject, tone, narrative; and poetic languageMastering the three steps to interpretationFacing the challenges of older poetryExploring 5,000 years of verse, from Mesopotamia to the global villageWriting open-form poetryWorking with traditional forms of verseWriting exercises for aspiring poetsGetting published From Sappho to Clark Coolidge, and just about everyone in between, "Poetry For Dummies" puts you in touch with the greats of modern and ancient poetry. Need guidance on composing a ghazal, a tanka, a sestina, or a psalm? This is the book for you.

30 review for Poetry for Dummies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sincerae

    This is a must for anyone who is interested in poetry or who loves to write it. It presents in an easy to read and lively prose format information on the history of poetry, the technical side to poetry, and various traditional styles such as the sonnet, ghazal, and haiku. This book also explains how to read poetry aloud and how to interpret it. There is much more information about how to go about getting published in magazines and journals, reading to audiences, how to connect with other poets i This is a must for anyone who is interested in poetry or who loves to write it. It presents in an easy to read and lively prose format information on the history of poetry, the technical side to poetry, and various traditional styles such as the sonnet, ghazal, and haiku. This book also explains how to read poetry aloud and how to interpret it. There is much more information about how to go about getting published in magazines and journals, reading to audiences, how to connect with other poets in the real world and online, etc.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bob Nichols

    The book provides a good introduction to poetry – its various forms, how to read and interpret and write it. While poetry’s content and form are seemingly infinite, ranging from the simple and straightforward to highly obscure language that requires background and dedication to appreciate, the common feature to all poetry is the use of language as an art form, although the authors do not state this so explicitly. Interestingly, the dictionary’s definition is verse -- “a sequence of words arrange The book provides a good introduction to poetry – its various forms, how to read and interpret and write it. While poetry’s content and form are seemingly infinite, ranging from the simple and straightforward to highly obscure language that requires background and dedication to appreciate, the common feature to all poetry is the use of language as an art form, although the authors do not state this so explicitly. Interestingly, the dictionary’s definition is verse -- “a sequence of words arranged metrically in accordance with some rule or design” - - or prose “having beauty of thought or language.” By language, the authors emphasize that most poetry is meant to be read aloud. Beauty lies as much on sound as it does on meaning or form. One of their criteria for poetry is the ability of words or sound to evoke emotion. This is more challenging for the complex forms of poetry that require “doing legwork,” “tracking things down,” by consulting with the dictionary, history books and reference or, in the case of “The Wasteland,” the services of a good teacher. This is certainly the case with ancient and old poems or much of contemporary poetry with “modernist,” “symbolism,” or “imagism” styles that the authors reference in this book. Regarding these later day poems, the reader has to make a decision at some point whether, if a poem’s value is not immediately evident, it is worth it to spend time on it. Loved one of the reviews of this book: "Gotta start somewhere...why not here."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Erik Akre

    Despite myself, and at the risk of admitting (oh no!) that I'm a real poetry "dummy", I totally loved this book! Great introduction to genres and theory, which is nice, but more than that: useful and inspirational information about starting to write your own poems. For someone already interested in poetry, but who lacks a bit of confidence about diving in, this is perfect. Go for it. It's a great gateway. It will get you started writing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Edie Kestenbaum

    Well written! A very good introduction to poetry- covers MOST of the basics. Various rules, forms, and techniques of reading, writing, and understanding are covered. So is the history of poetry. However, more writing exercises and more forms of traditional poetry need to be covered. This book doesn't explain enough the starting habits of a writer.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robert Gluck

    Helpful.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Keith Addison

    Does go into the very basics of writing poetry and covers a good history of poetry as well. It has some good exercises and helps to make sense of some of the more complicated aspects of writing poetry. It is basic though and I would say it is a fairly basic level. There are better books out there in my opinion which will teach you a lot more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shari

    Despite my distaste for the title, this was an excellent book. It covered a wide range, so is appropriate for both new and advanced poets. I imagine a newer poet might wish to reread it at some point to tease out the morsels at a higher level. It even covers contemporary forms such as slam poetry, a facet often overlooked in the poetic world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was a very helpful and useful book! Right after I read it I wrote a very good poem, my best so far, and my family loved it!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Luna

    I felt that this book was not very helpful in teaching me more about writing poetry. I have been writing poetry for over a decade now, just for fun as a pastime. I wanted to learn more about it and write poetry better. This book, obviously, is meant for beginners, but I thought it might be a good place to start anyways. However, I don't think this would be helpful for beginners, either. It's good for someone just learning how to read and understand poetry, but when it comes to writing poetry I th I felt that this book was not very helpful in teaching me more about writing poetry. I have been writing poetry for over a decade now, just for fun as a pastime. I wanted to learn more about it and write poetry better. This book, obviously, is meant for beginners, but I thought it might be a good place to start anyways. However, I don't think this would be helpful for beginners, either. It's good for someone just learning how to read and understand poetry, but when it comes to writing poetry I think it over-explains a little. Poetry is about putting a feeling into words. That is the shortest way of putting it. But this book had other rules about poetry that I really didn't agree with. Ones that made poetry less freeing, more bound. I suppose my greatest issue with this book is that I disagree with a lot of its points. Because our views don't align, I was never going to like what it had to say. TL;DR: If you're looking to learn how to read and understand poetry, this is definitely the place to go. If you're looking to write poetry, find another book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    yogesh

    I really didn't liked to read poetry during school days because the teachers made it so boring. But this book really made poetry interesting .But I have no intrest in writing poetry so I brushed through that part. But I really got to know more about various authors and various poems during a certain era. I already started to read robert frost and japanese haiku. I may be interested in writing poetry one day.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Efren

    Just as I feared. Tsk tsk.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Soul Rhallin

    This book has some great content. It is easy to read, and written with enough humor to keep a reader moving through it with a smile. On the other hand, the table of contents and index are not accurate and ca n lead tofrustration when one is attempting to 'cherry pick' the content for specific material. Overall, it provides alot of functionally useful information on poetry forms and how to create new material, which is its intended purpose.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    I dislike the title of the book, but I must admit the content is pretty good, especially in the first half of the book. The explanations of the basic concepts in poetry are straightforward and often humorous. Worth reading even if you aren't hugely into poetry.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Elam

    Gotta start somewhere... Why not here?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Hurtado

    Poetry for Dummies by The Poetry Center (2001)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amr Elnahla

    Still struggling.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kirk Bullough

    The authors included examples of everything they wrote about. Very well put together.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    None

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    skimmed/resourse

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christine Delea

  21. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jude Brigley

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dina Fayad

  24. 5 out of 5

    Monika Coulson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim E. Readinger

  26. 4 out of 5

    Helen Kenwright

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joseph White

  28. 4 out of 5

    Egil Mosbron

  29. 5 out of 5

    windy goodloe

  30. 4 out of 5

    David

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