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254 of 255 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical and inspiring
Writing poems - it's a great title. Deceptively plain, it carries many possible meanings, most of which Sansom slings out before he starts.
From the back cover on, he makes it clear that he won't be telling us what kind of poems to write or how to write them. Instead he's offering something much more valuable - why to write poems and how to write them better...
Published on 25 Jan 2004 by Hilary Jane

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not that good
a lot of talk but not a lot of content the ode less travelled by fry better value for money
Published 12 months ago by MJ HAZELDINE-POTTS


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254 of 255 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical and inspiring, 25 Jan 2004
Writing poems - it's a great title. Deceptively plain, it carries many possible meanings, most of which Sansom slings out before he starts.
From the back cover on, he makes it clear that he won't be telling us what kind of poems to write or how to write them. Instead he's offering something much more valuable - why to write poems and how to write them better.
Quite a chunk of the book examines the techniques of some well-chosen poets, making it almost as much about reading poems as writing them. This makes a lot of sense, given Sansom's strong belief that close reading must come before writing. Using the work of poets from John Keats to Carol Ann Duffy, he shows us in detail why they write poems so well.
He then takes us very readably through the formal forms, with endearingly opinionated opinions on them all, along with some good solid definitions of the spondees, dactyls and pentameters that can be so unnerving. He offers sound advice on choosing titles and explains just why we need to be careful of dangerous poetry words like shard.
There's a few writing exercises and games as well, though Sansom disconcertingly seems to think that we're going to be leading students through these, rather than using them ourselves. Evidently this is a book about teaching other people to write poems too.
Sansom repeats more than once that the poet should show rather than tell, persuade rather than insist. But since he's writing prose here, I guess it's okay that he playfully goes on to do quite a bit of insisting anyway.
For a start, he's pretty insistent on the value of the small magazines and marginal publishing that have done so much for today's poets, poetry and poetry readers. Well, true enough, and the question of where your poems might go once you've written them is certainly treated here in a more thought-provoking way than in the usual tedious cut and paste jobs straight from last year's Writers and Artists Yearbook.
Sansom is just as insistent on the importance of writing authentically - surely the most basic requirement for a poet and yet often so elusive. I found him particularly helpful on this point, though a bit surprised by his choice of poem to illustrate it.
The tone of Sansom's list of whose poems to read, and why, goes a little beyond the persuasive too. Fine by me - it's a very personal list and that makes it all the easier to trust.
There's no real shortage of people writing about writing. Unlike a lot of them, Peter Sansom is an accomplished poet with a track record of helping many others get there too. Hardly surprising then that his contribution is so practical and inspiring.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anyone scared of tackling poetry, 21 Mar 2011
I bought this book after struggling with the poetry module on a Creative writing course. It manages to keep balanced on that fine line between the mechanics of writing poetry and the "touchy-feely" aspects of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for Readers of Poetry, 27 Jan 2013
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J. Scott "James Scott" (Glasgow,Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Just taken to poetry and found this book from Bloodaxe ideal. Author is talking to readers as well as writers and poetry at school was pretty bad when I did it but the fact it should be spoken out loud rather than just read on the page is one of the main points covered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not that good, 29 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Writing Poems: 2 (Bloodaxe Poetry Handbooks) (Kindle Edition)
a lot of talk but not a lot of content the ode less travelled by fry better value for money
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another muse?, 1 Dec 2012
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I bought this before attacking a project on poetry forms. Well written and tells me lots I need to know. Too soon to judge if it will aid my progress, I guess if I become rich and famous I will have to add another star.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical handbook, 14 Jan 2011
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Clearly written with sections on metre, rhyme, various poetic forms, writing exercises, suggestions for further reading and a useful glossary.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars writing poems, 29 Jun 2010
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W. S. Trotter (JARROW, England) - See all my reviews
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this is a good text book to have at hand when working, a bit of a hard read rather like the old style text book, but worth it once you know where the info is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars POETRY, 12 May 2014
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M. P. Newman - See all my reviews
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This is a must for all those poets who run workshops, or are thinking of doing so. I have found it indispensable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 8 Jan 2014
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This book was on our suggested reading list for university and I now know why. It is a brilliant book and very easy to understand. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present, 27 Dec 2013
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I have a had a good response from the writer friend I sent this book to. She says its great. So I pass that assessment on to other Amazon customers.
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