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.
"What good company Mary Oliver is!" The Los Angeles Times
"Absorbing...full of Hirsch's passion." —The New Yorker
"Edward Hirschs “A Poets Glossary” is an instant classic that belongs on the bookshelf of every serious poet and literature student...Hirsch explains them all with the ease of a tour guide who has spent a lifetime learning the territory...The more you read in this insightful book, the more youll feel a part of a communal journey that has continued for thousands of years" —Washington Post"A glossary is useful, welcome, sometimes fun, but rarely, if ever, a catalyst for astonishment. Leave it to revered poet, poetry apostle, and glossator extraordinaire Hirsch (The Living Fire, 2010) to turn this humble resource into a vibrant, polyglot, world-circling, century-spanning, mind-expanding work of profound scholarship and literary art...A thrilling 'repertoire of poetic secrets,' this radiant compendium is shaped by Hirschs abiding gratitude for the demands and power, illumination, and solace of poetry, 'a human fundamental.'" —Booklist (starred review)
"Offering definitions, a discussion of poetic techniques, and an unalloyed spiritual quality to his work...This compilation of stimulating information and of beautiful writing by a master of expression is for all who love language, not just poets." —Library Journal (starred review)
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
Edward Hirsch is a celebrated poet and peerless advocate for poetry. A MacArthur fellow, he has published eight books of poems and four books of prose. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Rome Prize, a Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He serves as president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and lives in Brooklyn.
Table of Contents
'PART ONE: THE RULES
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
PART TWO: THE DANCERS ONE BY ONE
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
PART FIVE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF METRICAL POEMS