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The Poet's Manual and Rhyming Dictionary (Stillman) Paperback – 9 Oct 1972


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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: 13.7 x 2.3 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 259,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Arty on 4 April 2002
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 on 9 May 2001
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 By BookJumper on 4 Mar. 2009
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 By Martin Latter on 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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By L. M. Keane on 16 April 2011
It is simply the best rhyming dictionary, the most comprehensive, but you need to think with an American accent for certain vowel sounds! But you get used to that, and then you fall in love. And the section explaining poetic form is terrific.
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By Ted Biscuit on 18 April 2015
Verified Purchase
Very dense exhaustive text. I'm learning something about poetry on every page. Not even touched the rhyming dictionary yet, but I know this book will be a indispensable guide to keep referring back to.
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