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Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verseby Mary Oliver
Synopses & Reviews
A major addition to the literature of poetry, Edward Hirschs sparkling new work is a compilation of forms, devices, groups, movements, isms, aesthetics, rhetorical terms, and folklore—a book that all readers, writers, teachers, and students of poetry will return to over and over.
Hirsch has delved deeply into the poetic traditions of the world, returning with an inclusive, international compendium. Moving gracefully from the bards of ancient Greece to the revolutionaries of Latin America, from small formal elements to large mysteries, he provides thoughtful definitions for the most important poetic vocabulary, imbuing his work with a lifetime of scholarship and the warmth of a man devoted to his art.
Knowing how a poem works is essential to unlocking its meaning. Hirschs entries will deepen readers relationships with their favorite poems and open greater levels of understanding in each new poem they encounter. Shot through with the enthusiasm, authority, and sheer delight that made How to Read a Poem so beloved, A Poets Glossary is a new classic.
With a poet's ear and a poet's grace of expression, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winner Mary Oliver shows what makes a metrical poem work--and enables readers, as only she can, to "enter the thudding deeps and the rippling shallows of sound-pleasure and rhythm-pleasure that intensify both the poem's narrative and its ideas".
"True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, / As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance," wrote Alexander Pope. "The dance," in the case of Oliver's brief and luminous book, refers to the interwoven pleasures of sound and sense to be found in some of the most celebrated and beautiful poems in the English language, from Shakespeare to Edna St. Vincent Millay to Robert Frost. With a poet's ear and a poet's grace of expression, Oliver shows what makes a metrical poem work - and enables readers, as only she can, to "enter the thudding deeps and the rippling shallows of sound-pleasure and rhythm-pleasure that intensify both the poem's narrative and its ideas."
A joyful, elegant glossary of poetic terms spanning centuries and continents, from the famed poet and author of the bestselling How to Read a Poem (And Fall in Love with Poetry).
About the Author
Mary Oliver is one of the most celebrated and best-selling poets in America. Her books include Red Bird; Our World; Thirst; Blue Iris; New and Selected Poems, Volume One; and New and Selected Poems, Volume Two. She has also published five books of prose, including Rules for the Dance and, most recently, Long Life. She lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: THE RULES 1. Breath 2. Patterns 3. More About Patterns 4. Design: Line Length 5. Release of Energy Along the Line 6. Design: Rhyme 7. Design: Traditional Forms 8. Words on a String 9. Mutes and Other Sounds 10. The Use of Meter in Non-Metric Verse 11. The Ohs and the Ahs 12. Image-Making
PART TWO: THE DANCERS ONE BY ONE 13. Style
PART THREE: SCANSION, AND THE ACTUAL WORK 14. Scansion: Reading the Metrical Poem 15. Scansion: Writing the Metrical Poem 16. Yourself Dancing: The Actual Work
PART FOUR: A UNIVERSAL MUSIC 17. Then and Now Envoi
PART FIVE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF METRICAL POEMS Permissions Index
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