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Rules for the Dance: Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse Paperback – 17 Sep 1998

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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  • Rules for the Dance: Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (Trade) (17 Sept. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039585086X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395850862
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"What good company Mary Oliver is!" The Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Best-selling poet Mary Oliver's works include Red Bird, Our World, Thirst, and Blue Iris. She has also published several books of prose, including Rules for the Dance and Long Life.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A complete joy from start to finish. Obviously, like tonal music and figurative painting, metrical poetry is an art form that is seen as hopelessly dated by most current practitioners. But if you want to understand what Julia Donaldson is doing (as well as every major poet before 1950), here is a great place to start.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent does what its says on the cover
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Excellent. Informative, especially to aspiring poets. Reader needs to be focused and pay attention just as if in one of Mary Oliver's seminars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 40 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 18 May 2017
By lilcreative - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh, this is just so very, very well done; but I guess I couldn't expect less from the brilliant Mary Oliver. If you're a poet, or simply want to understand poetry better, I recommend this highly.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahh, now I've got it! 2 July 2011
By Margaret Joyce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite being an English lit major,a prolific reader of fiction and non-fiction, and a not too shabby piano player, I had never, until my encounter with Mary Oliver's careful, clear teaching style, understood how metric poetry links together attributes of both music and the written word.'Hell-o-o-! It's not so difficult to understand,' you say.Oh, but it has been,for me,stuck on the idea that the two arts are completely separate. They're not. In "Rules for the Dance..", Ms. Oliver illustrates how,in metric poetry,the dimensions of sound and rhythm (musicality) and lyrical words (assonance, aliteration, etc..)combine: one reads not only for comprehension of the artful words,but for the added emotional pleasure of hearing them in rhythmic sound patterns - metrics, which she defines in detail- the result being powerful poetry. I now 'get'the 'rules for the dance,' and you will too should you pick up this book with a mind to hear what is being said.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rules For the Dance 30 May 2014
By Mary Beth Palm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How can this book be rated anything but the best?! I'm not a poet or writer, but I felt very enabled to read poetry better and more enjoyably after reading this book. It's simple for me to read and offers several new perspectives! I especially like that she suggests a way to being a better poet is to read more poetry!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Serious Poets 23 Nov. 2013
By Susamoo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With a poet's ear and a poet's grace of expression, Oliver shows what makes a metrical poem work - and enables readers, as only she can, to "enter the thudding deeps and the rippling shallows of sound-pleasure and rhythm-pleasure that intensify both the poem's narrative and its ideas." Writers, keep this one handy in your collection.
103 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful, spare, profound look at the craft of poetry. 31 Aug. 1998
By W. Noble - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mary Oliver brings to this small book all the clarity and economy that characterize her poetry, and produces the most plain-spoken, profound work that I have read on poetry as a conscious craft. The book is divided into five parts. Part One is 12 brief, carefully-exampled chapters with titles like "Breath", "Line Length", and "Meter in Non-Metric Verse". Part Two is a single chapter on "Style". Part Three explores scansion for both reader and writer. Part Four is a 2-page statement of the timelessness of poetry. Part Five is a fine little anthology of works studied in the earlier text. This austere, remote poet has written a book that speaks to the reader with great intimacy and passion. To quote from Oliver's envoi: "No poet ever wrote a poem to dishonor life, to compromise high ideals, to scorn religious views, to demean hope or gratitude, to argue against tenderness, to place rancor before love, or to praise littleness of soul. Not one. Not ever."
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