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Rhyme's Reason: A Guide to English Verse (Yale Nota Bene) Paperback – 20 Mar 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 3rd Revised edition edition (20 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300088329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300088328
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Discussions of prosody usually make for yawns and heavy eyelids, but John Hollander's book, now usefully augmented, is a sparkling performance. He defines and illustrates the forms and means of English verse in such a way as to teach us, also, the spirit of play which animates even the gravest poem." -- Richard Wilbur

"Marvelously comprehensive, clarifying and useful ... also a delight to read."

John Reardon, Los Angeles Times Book Review -- John Reardon, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"The most useful guide of its kind in years. It is at once comprehensive, lucid, concise, and fun." -- G. E. Murray, Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author

A pre-eminent American poet, John Hollander has written over sixteen volumes of poetry. He has also published several works of literary criticism and has edited numerous anthologies, including the Oxford Anthology of English Literature. His many honours include the Bollingen Prize, the Levinson Prize, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Rhyme's Reason won the Mina P. Suaughnessy Award from the Modern Language Association when it was first published. John Hollander is currently Sterling Professor of English at Yale University.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
This is a guide to verse, to the formal structures which are a necessary condition of poetry, but not a sufficient one. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
This little volume is the single most useful book on formal poetry I've ever owned. It explains the history and the rules of pretty much every verse form there is, with examples that make me want to run for my notebook to start playing with them myself. If you love formal poetry, you must own this book. (And if you don't, maybe it will change your mind...)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 April 1998
Format: Paperback
For those who equate poetry with free verse, this book is a wonderful introduction to the rich variety of traditional English verse forms, a subject that doesn't seem to be taught in school any more. Hollander manages to make a potentially bewildering and dull corpus of material exciting and fun, through his well-chosen examples and delightful commentary. If you love poetry, if you want to learn more about poetry, or if you just want a good read, buy this book. You won't be sorry.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso' on 27 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
Scansion? Stress? Iamb, dactyl, spondee.. purleeze. But that's all over with in 10 pages. This is just the best book ever on verse-forms. And it's not at all dry. The 3rd ed includes a Patterns in Practice supplement which you can flip through when you can't tell your villanelle from your triolet (you pronounce the t, by the way). And I do, I do - these forms have staged a remarkable comeback after the 100-year leveling between Whitman and Ginsberg. The pantoum, famously affected by John Ashbery, is the one that always catches me napping (kind of a cross between villanelle and terza rima, since you ask), while the ghazal (pron guzzle) is the new kid on the block. It's ancient, of course, but there's really just the one book on it in English (Ravishing Disunities)
NB this book is also **tiny!**
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