I wish this book had been available many, many years ago. Reading 'Poetry Writing: the expert guide' has made me aware of just how naive my own attempts at writing poetry have been. This is the most wonderful guidebook with a text that is so rich and enjoyable I decided to postpone all the exercises the author suggests so that I could quickly move on and reach the end-point of the book.
Having been so stimulated and inspired by the book's content I have now returned to the beginning again, this time to work my way through it slowly and systematically in order to utilize the author's suggestions to try and improve my own poetry.
'Poetry Writing' is such a comprehensive book written by a credible and highly respected prize-winning poet. Starting with the question 'What is poetry', the author goes on to identify and explore all the ingredients necessary to create a poem and, perhaps most importantly, how to combine those ingredients to best effect so that the poem sits and flows like a well-balanced boat in the water.
Whatever level you currently feel to be at - from novice to accomplished/published poet - there is definitely something in this book for everyone. Whilst each chapter aroused and intrigued me, I found the chapters on 'Meter', 'Beat', and 'Register' invaluable and, in particular, the chapter 'On Difficulty, which addresses the issues involved when writing about highly personal and emotional material.
The author's writing style is sagacious and supportive and her love and deep passion for poetry shines so brightly from every page of the text. I can't wait to begin re-working my old poems and birthing new ones in the light of all the insight and realization this marvellous book has already given and continues to give to me.