Synopses & Reviews
From one of the most esteemed American poets of the twenty-first century comes a celebration of poetry and an invitation for anyone to experience its beauty and wonder.
Full of fresh and exciting insights, Making Your Own Days illuminates the somewhat mysterious subject of poetry for those who read it and for those who write it—as well as for those who would like to read and write it better. By treating poetry not as a special use of language but as a distinct language—unlike the one used in prose and conversation—Koch clarifies the nature of poetic inspiration, how poems are written and revised, and what happens to the heart and mind while reading a poem.
Koch also provides a rich anthology of more than ninety works from poets past and present. Lyric poems, excerpts from long poems and poetic plays, poems in English, and poems in translation from Homer and Sappho to Lorca, Snyder, and Ashbery; each selection is accompanied by an explanatory note designed to complement and clarify the text and to put pleasure back into the experience of poetry.
Michael Dirda The Washington Post Book World Kenneth Koch is one of our finest living poets....Making Your Own Days is...exhilarating.
Michael DirdaThe Washington Post Book WorldKenneth Koch is one of our finest living poets....Making Your Own Days is...exhilarating.
David Lehman American Poetry Review A poet of the highest originality....[Koch] has stretched our ideas of what it is possible to do in poetry.
Frank Kermode I would recommend Koch's way of teaching poetry above all others. His book is informative, witty, and surprising. It's also authoritative...it is a precious defense of poetry.
Ned Rorem Koch is that rare phenomenon, the poet who can write prose -- prose that is necessary and lucid. In his book, he offers a new and healthy dimension to the life of virtually everyone.
Ned Rorem A person in love is torn between needing to keep his enthusiasm secret and wanting to share it with the world. Kenneth Koch in his new book strikes the ideal compromise. How generous he is with his patient intelligence, and how original with his crucial perception! Like all real artists, he shows us what we did not know we knew. He is that rare phenomenon, the poet who can write prose -- prose that is necessary and lucid. In his book, he offers a new and healthy dimension to the life of virtually everyone.
About the Author
Kenneth Koch is the author of many books of poetry, most recently Straits, and won the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1994. He has also published fiction and plays, as well as books on the teaching of poetry: Wishes, Lies and Dreams; Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?; and I Never Told Anybody. He lives in New York City, where he is professor of English at Columbia University.
Table of Contents
A Brief Preface
Part I The Language of Poetry<>1. The Two Languages
3. The Inclinations of the Poetry Language
- Repetition and Rhythm
- Line Division
- Non-Metrical Poetry
- Non-Rhyming and Irregularly Rhyming Poetry
- Stanzas and Poetic Forms
4. The Poetry Base
- Personification and Apostrophe
- A Few Other Inclinations
Part II Writing and Reading Poetry
- Long Poems
- Dramatic Poetry
- Poetry in Other Languages and in Translation
Part III An Anthology of Poems