on 14 September 2011
I'm half way through this book so far and for the first time in my life, I'm reading a book about how poetry works that I find as fascinating and readable as a good novel. The author clearly has the academic knowledge and wide experience of poetry needed to be authoritive, but wears the learning lightly. I don't have an English degree, but don't feel out of my depth. I really feel I'm being taught by an expert. New words and concepts are introduced in the context of detailed analysis of poems that are printed in full in the chapter where they are discussed. I have tried reading other academic texts about poetry - this is by far the most readable, but it does still introduce and explain all the complex ideas - things like metonymy, trope, anaphora etc. as well as the more familiar simile, metaphor,... Excuse me, I can't stay away from it any longer. I'll just go and read the next chapter. What a treat.
on 13 February 2008
This book is presumably aimed mostly at an academic market, but the casual reader should not be put off by that. It's very readable and an interesting insight into how poetry is put together and how all the various aspects (words, syntax, rhythm etc) work together. Highly recommended for anyone interested in why good poems are good.