Author: Grace McCleen
Publisher: Hachette UK
Elizabeth Stone, a respected academic, has a new lease on life. In remission from cancer, she returns to the city where she was a student over thirty years ago to investigate some little-known papers by T. S. Eliot, which she believes contain the seeds of her masterpiece; a masterpiece that centres on a poem given to her when she was eighteen by the elusive Professor Hunt... But as the days pass in the city she loves and her friendship with Professor Hunt is rekindled, her memories return her to a time shadowed by loneliness, longing and quiet despair, and to an undeclared but overwhelming love. Paralysed by the fear of writing something worthless, haunted by a sense of waste, Elizabeth Stone comes to realise she is facing the biggest test of her life. As in her acclaimed debut The Land of Decoration, Grace McCleen gives an intense evocation of place, an unflinching portrayal of a character by turns comic, absurd, and disturbing, and a powerful sense of the transcendent within the ordinary. Profound and hypnotic, The Professor of Poetry devastates even as it exhilarates and echoes long after it has been closed.
Author: Grace McCleen
Elizabeth Stone, a respected academic, has a new lease on life. In remission from cancer, she returns to the city where she was a student over 30 years ago to investigate some little-known papers by T.S. Eliot, which she believes contain the seeds of her masterpiece; a masterpiece that centres on a poem given to her when she was 18 by the elusive Professor Hunt. But as the days pass in the city she loves and her friendship with Professor Hunt is rekindled, her memories return her to a time shadowed by loneliness, longing, and quiet despair, and to an undeclared but overwhelming love
Author: Thomas C. Foster
From the bestselling author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes this essential primer to reading poetry like a professor that unlocks the keys to enjoying works from Lord Byron to the Beatles. No literary form is as admired and feared as poetry. Admired for its lengthy pedigree—a line of poets extending back to a time before recorded history—and a ubiquitous presence in virtually all cultures, poetry is also revered for its great beauty and the powerful emotions it evokes. But the form has also instilled trepidation in its many admirers mainly because of a lack of familiarity and knowledge. Poetry demands more from readers—intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually—than other literary forms. Most of us started out loving poetry because it filled our beloved children's books from Dr. Seuss to Robert Louis Stevenson. Eventually, our reading shifted to prose and later when we encountered poetry again, we had no recent experience to make it feel familiar. But reading poetry doesn’t need to be so overwhelming. In an entertaining and engaging voice, Thomas C. Foster shows readers how to overcome their fear of poetry and learn to enjoy it once more. From classic poets such as Shakespeare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Edna St. Vincent Millay to later poets such as E.E. Cummings, Billy Collins, and Seamus Heaney, How to Read Poetry Like a Professor examines a wide array of poems and teaches readers: How to read a poem to understand its primary meaning. The different technical elements of poetry such as meter, diction, rhyme, line structures, length, order, regularity, and how to learn to see these elements as allies rather than adversaries. How to listen for a poem’s secondary meaning by paying attention to the echoes that the language of poetry summons up. How to hear the music in poems—and the poetry in songs! With How to Read Poetry Like a Professor, readers can rediscover poetry and reap its many rewards.
Author: Peter Levi
A lecture that discusses the lamentation of the dead in written and oral poetry from Homer and the Bible to recent times, by way of Shakespeare, Milton and the Serbian epics. It puts forward the view that The Lament for Arthur O'Leary, composed by Eileen O'Connell, is among the finest examples of the lamentation of the dead."
Author: Shira Wolosky
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In The Art of Poetry, Shira Wolosky provides a dazzling introduction to an art whose emphasis on verbal music, wordplay, and dodging the merely literal makes it at once the most beguiling and most challenging of literary forms. A uniquely comprehensive, step-by-step introduction to poetic form, The Art of Poetry moves progressively from smaller units such as the word, line, and image, to larger features such as verse forms and voice. In fourteen engaging, beautifully written chapters, Wolosky explores in depth how poetry does what it does while offering brilliant readings of some of the finest lyric poetry in the English and American traditions. Both readers new to poetry and poetry veterans will be moved and enlightened as Wolosky interprets work by William Shakespeare, John Donne, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, and others. The book includes a superb two-chapter discussion of the sonnet's form and history, and represents the first poetry guide to introduce gender as a basic element of analysis. In contrast to many existing guides, which focus on selected formal aspects like metrics or present definitions and examples in a handbook format, The Art of Poetry covers the full landscape of poetry's subtle art while showing readers how to comprehend a poetic text in all its dimensions. Other special features include Wolosky's consideration of historical background for the developments she discusses, and the way her book is designed to acquaint or reacquaint readers with the core of the lyric tradition in English. Lively, accessible, and original, The Art of Poetry will be a rich source of inspiration for students, general readers, and those who teach poetry.
Author: George Bilgere
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
In Blood Pages George Bilgere continues his exploration of the joys and absurdities of being middle-aged and middle-class in the Midwest. OK, maybe he’s a bit beyond middle-aged at this point, and his rueful awareness of this makes these poems even more darkly hilarious, more deeply aware of the feckless and baffling times our nation has stumbled into. And the fact that Bilgere, relatively late in life, is now the father of two young boys brings a fresh sense of urgency to his work. Blood Pages is a guidebook to the fears, foibles, and beauties of our lovely old country as it makes its blundering, tentative way into the new century.
Author: Gregory Orr
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
An innovative and accessible guide to poetry-writing by an award-winning poet and beloved professor of poetry. A Primer for Poets and Readers of Poetry guides the young poet toward a deeper understanding of how poetry can function in his or her life, while also introducing the art in an exciting new way. Using such poems as Theodore Roethke’s "My Papa’s Waltz" and Robert Hayden’s "Those Winter Sundays," the Primer encourages young writers to approach their "thresholds"—those places where disorder meets order, where shaping imagination can turn language into urgent and persuasive poems. It provides the poet with more than a dozen focused writing exercises and explains essential topics such as the personal and cultural threshold; the four forces that animate poetic language (naming, singing, saying, imagining); tactics of revision; ecstasy and engagement as motives for poetry; and how to locate and learn from our personal poetic forebears.
Author: Douglas Dunn
Publisher: Faber & Faber
The Noise of a Fly is the first collection from Douglas Dunn in sixteen years, and the first since he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2013. It is a book brimming with warmth, mischief and a self-deprecating humour, as well as with a charming, 'Larkinesque' crankiness: a quarrel with ageing, an impatience with youth, the grievousness of losing friends and colleagues. But for all its intimate, hearthside rumination, this is a volume of poems that looks outward in equal measure: at Scottish independence, British politics and an international refugee crisis, and reflects unflinchingly on what it is to consider oneself a contributor to society. Penned with a dexterous wit and a steady nerve, The Noise of a Fly is a mesmeric imagining of our later years by one of this country's most senior and celebrated writers. 'It is hard to think of many poets who can equal his combination of imaginative ambition, formal resource and range of tone . . . Written on these terms, poetry is a matter of permanent urgency.' Sean O'Brien 'The most respected Scottish poet of his generation.' Nicholas Wroe
Author: Peter Verdonk
Publisher: A&C Black
Written over the last thirty years, this collection of Professor Peter Verdonk's most important work on the stylistics of poetry clearly shows that the stylistics of poetic discourse is a diverse and valuable interdiscipline. Discussing the poetry of Auden, Heaney and Larkin amongst many others, Verdonk covers everything from intrinsic textual meaning and external context in its widest sense to the reader's cognitive and emotive response to poems. The book will appeal to all students on stylistics and literary linguistics courses, especially those focussing on poetry and poetic language.
Author: James Fenton
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Why should a poet feel the need to be original? What is the relationship between genius and apprenticeship? James Fenton examines some of the most intriguing questions behind the making of the art - issues of creativity and the 'earning' of success, of judgement, tutorage, rivalry, and ambition. He goes on to consider the juvenilia of Wilfred Owen, the 'scarred' lines of Philip Larkin, the inheritance of imperialism, and issues of 'constituency' in Seamus Heaney. He looks too at Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, and their contrasting 'feminisms', at D. H. Lawrence, 'welcoming the dark'. The climax of the book is his superb and extensive discussion of Auden.
Author: Derek Attridge, Henry Staten
This book presents an innovative format for poetry criticism that its authors call "dialogical poetics." This approach shows that readings of poems, which in academic literary criticism often look like a product of settled knowledge, are in reality a continual negotiation between readers. But Derek Attridge and Henry Staten agree to rein in their own interpretive ingenuity and "minimally interpret" poems – reading them with careful regard for what the poem can be shown to actually say, in detail and as a whole, from opening to closure. Based on a series of emails, the book explores a number of topics in the reading of poetry, including historical and intellectual context, modernist difficulty, the role of criticism, and translation. This highly readable book will appeal to anyone who enjoys poetry, offering an inspiring resource for students whilst also mounting a challenge to some of the approaches to poetry currently widespread in the academy.
Author: Billie Wright Dziech, Linda Weiner
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Discusses sexual harassment on campus, and suggests actions students, parents, faculty, and administrators can take to combat it.
Author: Ben Lerner
Publisher: FSG Originals
No art has been denounced as often as poetry. It's even bemoaned by poets: "I, too, dislike it," wrote Marianne Moore. "Many more people agree they hate poetry," Ben Lerner writes, "than can agree what poetry is. I, too, dislike it and have largely organized my life around it and do not experience that as a contradiction because poetry and the hatred of poetry are inextricable in ways it is my purpose to explore." In this inventive and lucid essay, Lerner takes the hatred of poetry as the starting point of his defense of the art. He examines poetry's greatest haters (beginning with Plato's famous claim that an ideal city had no place for poets, who would only corrupt and mislead the young) and both its greatest and worst practitioners, providing inspired close readings of Keats, Dickinson, McGonagall, Whitman, and others. Throughout, he attempts to explain the noble failure at the heart of every truly great and truly horrible poem: the impulse to launch the experience of an individual into a timeless communal existence. In The Hatred of Poetry, Lerner has crafted an entertaining, personal, and entirely original examination of a vocation no less essential for being impossible.
Author: Paul Muldoon
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
In The End of the Poem, Paul Muldoon, "the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War" (The Times Literary Supplement), presents engaging, rigorous, and insightful explorations of a diverse group of poems, from Yeats's "All Souls' Night" to Stevie Smith's "I Remember" to Fernando Pessoa's "Autopsychography." Here Muldoon reminds us that the word "poem" comes, via French, from the Latin and Greek: "a thing made or created." He asks: Can a poem ever be a freestanding, discrete structure, or must it always interface with the whole of its author's bibliography—and biography? Muldoon explores the boundlessness, the illimitability, created by influence, what Robert Frost meant when he insisted that "the way to read a poem in prose or verse is in the light of all the other poems ever written." And he writes of the boundaries or borders between writer and reader and the extent to which one determines the role of the other. At the end, Muldoon returns to the most fruitful, and fraught, aspect of the phrase "the end of the poem": the interpretation that centers on the "aim" or "function" of a poem, and the question of whether or not the end of the poem is the beginning of criticism. Irreverent, deeply learned, often funny, and always stimulating, The End of the Poem is a vigorous and accessible approach to looking at poetry anew.