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The Poet's Manual and Rhyming Dictionary (Stillman) [Paperback]

Frances Stillman
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 Oct 1972 Stillman
A useful aid for all committed and aspiring poets. A good rhyming dictionary is an essential tool for all writers of verse. This volume is compactly arranged to allow writers to find the rhymes they need quickly and easily.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Poet's Manual and Rhyming Dictionary (Stillman) + The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary (Dictionary, Penguin) + The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; New edition edition (9 Oct 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500270309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500270301
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 13.8 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reference book for the book shelf 4 April 2002
By Arty
The book is in two main parts. The first part explains the theory of rhyme and meter, followed by exposition on traditional and modern poetic forms, with many examples. The second part is the rhyming dictionary itself. If the reader takes the trouble to read the introduction, there is a clear explanation on how to use the dictionary - so it is not difficult to use at all.
Two things recommend this book - at least for the British reader. It was written and is published in the UK, and there doesn't seem to be anything else like it on the market. I discovered it some years ago when Wendy Cope (the poet) promoted it at a poetry reading.
Both parts of the book are excellent. The first part is very imformative and the second very useful. Highly recommended.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This Manual will uncover for you the nuts and bolts of poetry, revealing the structure of works of the greats. By copious illustrations and in a non-technical way that anyone can easily understand, it shows how that poetic thought which appears in your head may be safely transmitted into a reader's - with the emphasis and rhythm you intended intact. In poetry, as in all writing, it is OK to break the rules - but know what the rules are, first. This book will tell you those rules. As for the Rhyming Dictionary - Boy! Is that ever a handy gadget - also sensibly laid out so as to allow you to find what you are looking for! You can always pretend that you never need to look at it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Part 1 (the manual) is very obviously dated. This isn't so much to do with old-fashioned notions of what constitutes "proper" poetry, as I myself am very traditional in that regard; it's more that its writing style doesn't seem to flow anymore - I would call it "stodgy".

As for part 2 (the rhyming dictionary), my main reason for buying this, I wish I had known it was arranged phonetically, with no alphabetical index of words to look up - it is all well and good if you were taught phonetics at school; if like me you weren't, you'll find yourself staring uncomprehending at the weirdly accented letters, and return to counting on as a rhyming dictionary what you have counted on until now: your brain.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful Poetry Reference 3 Jan 2005
The first section of this book, 'The Poet's Manual', is a thorough discourse of the mechanics of English poetry; covering subjects such as rhyme, metre, and poetry forms with clarity, brevity, and interesting examples. This section is a useful reference; however, it is readily apparent that Frances Stillman is a traditional poet with a traditional taste in poetry - which will be fine for some readers but not for others.
Plenty of the author's poems can be found within the pages of The Poet's Manual. Although Frances Stillman is obviously a competent and versatile poet, I have not yet decided whether she included her poems to promote her own work or merely because examples of some poetry forms were difficult to find.
Some may regard this book as a classic; it is evidently popular, and is indeed over 30 years old (which is immediately obvious through the typeface and page layout used). The binding at least is of traditional high quality.
Some people will find the larger second section of the book, the 'Rhyming Dictionary', very useful. Before Internet accessibility, this rhyming dictionary would have been a great resource for poets. However, there are faster, more convenient, and easier-to-use rhyming dictionaries available on The Internet.
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