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A Poetry Handbook Paperback – 15 Aug 1994

4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Publishers Ltd; 1 edition (15 Aug. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156724006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156724005
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Mary Oliver is one of the most celebrated and best-selling poets in America. Her books include Red Bird; Our World; Thirst; Blue Iris; New and Selected Poems, Volume One; and New and Selected Poems, Volume Two. She has also published five books of prose, including Rules for the Dance and, most recently, Long Life. She lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


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Format: Paperback
Mary Oliver's poetry itself can do some teaching on its own, but we can be grateful she's chosen to articulate the writing process so richly in this book. The book will almost certainly will wring some writing out of you; it will also inspire you to examine your work habits and technique. Oliver's intelligence shines through, and will make you a better reader of poetry. Small note on the previous review: Mary Oliver does, indeed, teach, at Bennington College currently. If you can't enroll there, this book is your next best choice.
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I have read several poetry how-to books and this one is my favourite. It is sufficiently structured that you can look things up when you need to but it reads beautifully as a whole, getting under the skin of what makes poetry different from other kinds of writing. There are lots of tips and enough examples of good and bad practice to help you shape your output immediately. The deeper stuff trickles through into a fuller appreciation of the wonderful art of poetry writing and reading. It is fairly short and only as technical as it needs to be. Ideal for those of us who don't have degrees in English Literature!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Inspiring and practical. This is not a book with loads of poetry exercises, I would say it would suit the more experienced poet who has already attended workshops and can write and edit their own poetry. It is more about helping with any doubts you may have and inspiring you to take your work to a new level.
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Format: Paperback
The book is a concise, brilliant guide for anyone interested in writing poetry or in understanding it better.
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Format: Paperback
Mary Oliver chose to avoid teaching so she could concentrate on her poetry. Too bad for students. Here, however, she gives students and accomplished poets alike a sensible and sensitive handbook that conveys not only the craft of poetry but its power, its mystery, and its magic. Readers who say they don't like poetry should give Oliver a chance to change their minds and hearts.
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By TH on 30 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fantastic guide to poetry. I bought it because it was on my reading list for university, but it's a smashing book for anyone interested in poetry. I loved reading it, and really enjoyed Mary Oliver's writing - she is very accessible.
I know I will return to this book over and over.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Very helpful for aspiring poets and fans of Mary Oliver's work. Again, it was like attending one of her seminars, and very useful to have on hand.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this as an amateur poet. Within two weeks of finishing it i wrote a piece that was finally deemed "publishable" by a literary journal. My first publication. I honestly believe this book was the deciding factor.
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