View your shopping cart.

Poetics

AMERICAN POETRY & CULTURE, 1945-1980

AMERICAN POETRY & CULTURE, 1945-1980

By: Von Hallberg, Robert
$6.50
More Info

Challenging the common perception of poets as standing apart from the mainstream of American culture, Robert von Hallberg gives us a fresh and unpredictable assessment of the poetry that has come directly out of the American experience since 1945.

Who reads contemporary American poetry? More people than were reading new poetry in the 1920s, von Hallberg shows. How do poets respond to the public preoccupations of their readers? Often with fascination. Von Hallberg put the poems of Robert Creeley and John Ashbery together with the postwar outburst of systems analysis. The 1950s tourist poems of John Hollander, Adrienne Rich, W. S. Merwin, and James Merrill are treated as the cultural side of America's postwar rise to global political power There are chapters on the political poems of the 1950s and 1960s, and on Robert Lowell's sympathy for the imperialism of his liberal contemporaries. Poems of the 1970s on pop culture, especially Edward Dorn's Slinger, and some from the suburbs of the 1980s, are shown to reflect a curious peace between the literary and the mass cultures.

product image

AN ESSAY ON FRENCH VERSE

By: Barzun, Jacques
$15.95
More Info
Barzun, Essay on French Verse. From the author of From Dawn to Decadence.

CAWS AND CAUSERIES

By: Hollo, Anselm
$14.00
More Info

This collection of prose writings by an internationally known poet includes an autobiographical essay describing Hollo's remarkable odyssey from the time he left his native Finland for the United States as a high school student until he settled in Colorado in the late 1980s. Other pieces in the collection, ranging from brief pieces ("caws") to more extended "causeries" (informal essays), include "Some Aereated Prose for a Panel on 'experimental writing, '" "Gregorio the Herald" (a tribute to Gregory Corso), discussions of other poets, among them Tom Raworth and Francis Ponge, "What Was It Like: A Remembrance of Allen Ginsberg's Howl," and a sampling of a lifetime's observations on poetry and poets. What emerges is a lively, unabashedly opinionated, always personal poetics forged in association and friendship with numerous "New American" poets: the Beats, the Black Mountain poets, the New York School, the Language poets, and the perennially unclassifiable and enigmatic.

DWELLING IN POSSIBILITY: Women Poets and Critics on Poetry

DWELLING IN POSSIBILITY: Women Poets and Critics on Poetry

$19.95
More Info
"Dwelling in Possibility" cuts across conventional boundaries between critical and creative writing by featuring the work of both women poets and feminist critics as they explore and exemplify the relationship between gender and poetic genres. The contributors suggest new ways of thinking and writing about poetry in light of contemporary question about history and identity. Most of the contributions are published here for the first time. This imaginatively conceived book covers a range in terms of time, geography, and genre, considering poets from antiquity to the present and drawing on a variety of critical approaches. Of particular note are essays on the transformation of classical lyric through the figure of Sappho, and on the transformative use of biblical material in women's verse.
ELOQUENCE & MERE LIFE: Essays on the Art of Poetry

ELOQUENCE & MERE LIFE: Essays on the Art of Poetry

By: Williamson, Alan
$13.95
More Info
Assesses past and future generations of poets and examines the standards by which they should be measured
HEAVY WORDS LIGHTLY THROWN

HEAVY WORDS LIGHTLY THROWN

By: Roberts, Chris, Etc
$12.00
More Info
Was Little Jack Horner a squatter? ?Baa Baa Black Sheep? a bleat about taxation? What did Jack and Jill do on that hill? Who was Mary? And why was she contrary?

This witty and ingenious book delves into the hidden meanings of forty of the most innocuous- sounding nursery rhymes, uncovering a seething subtext of sexual innuendo, religious hatred, and political subversion. "Heavy Words Lightly Thrown" provides a fascinating history lesson, teases out some alarming Freudian interpretations, and makes astonishing connections to contemporary popular culture. Striking and spooky silhouettes of nursery rhyme characters accompany the rhymes.

You?ll never see Mother Goose in the same way again. BACKCOVER: Praise for "Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: "
?What makes HWLT so much fun to read is not just the wacky stories Roberts tells, but the way Roberts tells them. He has a quick, chummy wit and moves easily between the past and the present, making connections between the way people acted then and the way we act now, and sending up both.?
?"Orlando Sentinel"
?Roberts employs a decidedly playful approach in analyzing the rhymes.?
?"Chicago Tribune"
?Roberts deploys an informal style of scholarship to a dazzling effect, transforming a catalogue of familiar nursery rhymes into a treasure trove of tantalizingly slippery archaisms, hidden etymological layers, arcane associations and buried meanings. This is better than history lite--it's history made delightful.?
?"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
?HWLT is obviously a labor of love, performed by a man obsessed with language, history, but intent on making the education of his readers a joyous experience.?
?"Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel"
?a loving, in-depth look at history, the human condition, and why words and the way they are used matters so much.?
?"Sunday Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News"
?a lighthearted, often hilarious look at the human condition and a fascinating exploration of how words can shape mythology and culture.?
?"Syracuse Post-Standard"
) ?A fascinating slice of history with quirky, unexpected and often scandalous tales.?
?"Providence Sunday Journal"
?An intriguing & informative historical trip through those odd little songs I sang as an odd little child. A must-have for anyone who has ever been younger than they are now.?
?Angus Oblong, creator of ?The Oblongs? animated series & author of "Creepy Susie: And 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children"
?James Finn Garner, author of "Politically Correct Bedtime Stories"

IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND, SECOND EDITION: A POET'S PORTABLE WORKSHOP

IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND, SECOND EDITION: A POET'S PORTABLE WORKSHOP

By: Kowit, Steve
$19.95
More Info

*Over 90,000 copies sold*

Long an anchor text for college and junior college writing classes, this illuminating and invaluable guide has become a favorite for beginning poets and an ever-valuable reference for more advanced students who want to sharpen their craft, expand their technical skills, and engage their deepest memories and concerns.This edition adds Steve Kowit's famous essay on poetics "The Mystique of the Difficult Poem," in which he argues stirringly and forcefully that a poem need not be obscure to be great.

INVISIBLE LISTENERS: Lyric Intimacy in Herbert, Whitman, and Ashberry

INVISIBLE LISTENERS: Lyric Intimacy in Herbert, Whitman, and Ashberry

By: Vendler, Helen
$12.95
More Info

When a poet addresses a living person--whether friend or enemy, lover or sister--we recognize the expression of intimacy. But what impels poets to leap across time and space to speak to invisible listeners, seeking an ideal intimacy--George Herbert with God, Walt Whitman with a reader in the future, John Ashbery with the Renaissance painter Francesco Parmigianino? In Invisible Listeners, Helen Vendler argues that such poets must invent the language that will enact, on the page, an intimacy they lack in life.

Through brilliantly insightful and gracefully written readings of these three great poets over three different centuries, Vendler maps out their relationships with their chosen listeners. For his part, Herbert revises the usual vertical address to God in favor of a horizontal one-addressing God as a friend. Whitman hovers in a sometimes erotic, sometimes quasi-religious language in conceiving the democratic camerado, who will, following Whitman's example, find his true self. And yet the camerado will be replaced, in Whitman's verse, by the ultimate invisible listener, Death. Ashbery, seeking a fellow artist who believes that art always distorts what it represents, finds he must travel to the remote past. In tones both tender and skeptical he addresses Parmigianino, whose extraordinary self-portrait in a convex mirror furnishes the poet with both a theory and a precedent for his own inventions.

By creating the forms and speech of ideal intimacy, these poets set forth the possibility of a more complete and satisfactory human interchange--an ethics of relation that is uncoerced, understanding, and free.

MODERNIST QUARTET

MODERNIST QUARTET

By: Lentricchia, Frank
$16.95
More Info
Modernist Quartet is a study of the four major American modernist poets--Frost, Stevens, Pound, Eliot--in various historical environments (literary, philosophical, gender relations, the business of capitalist economics) with special attention given to their central poetic texts as they simultaneously reflect and shape our understanding of those environments. Frank Lentricchia presents the poems as stories of the poets seeking to sustain a life in noncommercial writing, in a culture that is only hospitable, for the most part, to commercial art.
NINE GATES: ENTERING THE MIND OF POETRY

NINE GATES: ENTERING THE MIND OF POETRY

By: Hirshfield, Jane
$15.99
More Info
A Gate Enables passage between what is inside and what is outside, and the connection poetry forges between inner and outer lives is the fundamental theme of these nine essays.

"Nine Gates" begins with a close examination of the roots of poetic craft in "the mind of concentration" and concludes by exploring the writer's role in creating a sense of community that is open, inclusive and able to bind the individual and the whole in a way that allows each full self-expression. in between, "Nine Gates" illumines the nature of originality, translation, the various strategies by which meaning unfolds itself in language, poetry's roots in oral memory and the importance of the shadow to good art.

A person who enters completely into the experience of a poem is initiated into a deeper intimacy with life. Delving into the nature of poetry, Jane Hirshfield also writes on the nature of the human mind, perception and experience. "Nine Gates" is about the underpinnings of poetic craft, but it is also about a way of being alive in the world--alertly, musically, intelligently, passionately, permeably.

In part a primer for the general reader, "Nine Gates" is also a manual for the working writer, with each "gate" exploring particular strategies of language and thought that allow a poem to convey meaning and emotion with clarity and force. Above all, "Nine Gates" is an insightful guide to the way the mind of poetry awakens our fundamental consciousness of what can be known when a person is most fully alive.

ON POETRY

ON POETRY

By: Maxwell, Glyn
$15.95
More Info

"This is a book for anyone," Glyn Maxwell declares of On Poetry. A guide to the writing of poetry and a defense of the art, it will be especially prized by writers and readers who wish to understand why and how poetic technique matters. When Maxwell states, "With rhyme what matters is the distance between rhymes" or "the line-break is punctuation," he compresses into simple, memorable phrases a great deal of practical wisdom.

In seven chapters whose weird, gnomic titles announce the singularity of the book--"White," "Black," "Form," "Pulse," "Chime," "Space," and "Time"--the poet explores his belief that the greatest verse arises from a harmony of mind and body, and that poetic forms originate in human necessities: breath, heartbeat, footstep, posture. "The sound of form in poetry descended from song, molded by breath, is the sound of that creature yearning to leave a mark. The meter says tick-tock. The rhyme says remember. The whiteness says alone," Maxwell writes. To illustrate his argument, he draws upon personal touchstones such as Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost. An experienced teacher, Maxwell also takes us inside the world of the creative writing class, where we learn from the experiences of four aspiring poets.

"You master form you master time," Maxwell says. In this guide to the most ancient and sublime of the realms of literature, Maxwell shares his mastery with us.

PROSES ON POEMS & POETS

PROSES ON POEMS & POETS

By: Kizer, Carolyn
$12.00
More Info
Chosen as the inaugural volume of the Copper Canyon Press Writing Re: Writing Series--each annual volume to be a major collection of prose on poetry by a leading poet--Proses collects essays and reviews by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and feminist, Carolyn Kizer. Nearly every page sparkles with Kizer's intelligence.--Writer's NW

RESPONSES: PROSE PIECES 1953-76

$16.95
More Info
SHIPS GOING INTO THE BLUE: Essays and Notes on Poetry

SHIPS GOING INTO THE BLUE: Essays and Notes on Poetry

By: Simpson, Louis
$14.95
More Info
A revealing collection of Louis Simpson's autobiographical reflections and critical essays
SINGING SCHOOL: LEARNING TO WRITE (AND READ) POETRY BY STUDYING WITH THE MASTERS

SINGING SCHOOL: LEARNING TO WRITE (AND READ) POETRY BY STUDYING WITH THE MASTERS

By: Pinsky, Robert
$16.95
More Info

Robert Pinsky's headnotes for each of the 80 poems and his brief introductions to each section take a writer's view of specific works: William Carlos Williams's "Fine Work with Pitch and Copper" for intense verbal music; Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" for wild imagination in matter-of-fact language; Robert Southwell's "The Burning Babe" for surrealist aplomb; Wallace Stevens's "The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm" for subtlety in meter. Included are poems by Aphra Behn, Allen Ginsberg, George Herbert, John Keats, Mina Loy, Thomas Nashe, and many other master poets.

This anthology respects poetry's mysteries in two senses of the word: techniques of craft and strokes of the inexplicable.

product image

SOUNDS OF POETRY

By: Pinsky, Robert
$14.00
More Info

The Poet Laureate's clear and entertaining account of how poetry works.

"Poetry is a vocal, which is to say a bodily, art," Robert Pinsky declares in The Sounds of Poetry. "The medium of poetry is the human body: the column of air inside the chest, shaped into signifying sounds in the larynx and the mouth. In this sense, poetry is as physical or bodily an art as dancing."

As Poet Laureate, Pinsky is one of America's best spokesmen for poetry. In this fascinating book, he explains how poets use the "technology" of poetry--its sounds--to create works of art that are "performed" in us when we read them aloud.

He devotes brief, informative chapters to accent and duration, syntax and line, like and unlike sounds, blank and free verse. He cites examples from the work of fifty different poets--from Shakespeare, Donne, and Herbert to W. C. Williams, Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, C. K. Williams, Louise Glück, and Frank Bidart.

This ideal introductory volume belongs in the library of every poet and student of poetry.

TEN WINDOWS: HOW GREAT POEMS TRANSFORM THE WORLD

TEN WINDOWS: HOW GREAT POEMS TRANSFORM THE WORLD

By: Hirshfield, Jane
$19.00
More Info

A dazzling collection of essays on how the best poems work, from the master poet and popular essayist

Poetry, Jane Hirshfield has said, is language that foments revolutions of being. In ten eloquent and highly original explorations, she unfolds some of the ways this is done--by the inclusion of hiddenness, paradox, and surprise; by a perennial awareness of the place of uncertainty in our lives; by language's own acts of discovery; by the powers of image, statement, music, and feeling to enlarge in every direction. Closely reading poems by Dickinson, Bashō, Szymborska, Cavafy, Heaney, Bishop, and Komunyakaa, among others, Hirshfield reveals how poetry's world-making takes place: word by charged word. By expanding what is imaginable and sayable, Hirshfield proposes, poems expand what is possible. Ten Windows restores us at every turn to a more precise, sensuous, and deepened experience of our shared humanity and of the seemingly limitless means by which that knowledge is both summoned and forged.

WHY POETRY MATTERS

WHY POETRY MATTERS

By: Parini, Jay
$14.00
More Info

A brief, passionate book about the nature of poetry and its use in the world

Poetry doesn't matter to most people, observes Jay Parini at the opening of this book. But, undeterred, he commences a deeply felt meditation on poetry, its language and meaning, and its power to open minds and transform lives. By the end of the book, Parini has recovered a truth often obscured by our clamorous culture: without poetry, we live only partially, not fully conscious of the possibilities that life affords. Poetry indeed matters.

A gifted poet and acclaimed teacher, Parini begins by looking at defenses of poetry written over the centuries. He ponders Aristotle, Horace, and Longinus, and moves on through Sidney, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Eliot, Frost, Stevens, and others. Parini examines the importance of poetic voice and the mysteries of metaphor. He argues that a poet's originality depends on a deep understanding of the traditions of political poetry, nature poetry, and religious poetry.

Writing with a casual grace, Parini avoids jargon and makes his case in concise, direct terms: the mind of the poet supplies a light to the minds of others, kindling their imaginations, helping them to live their lives. The author's love of poetry suffuses this insightful book--a volume for all readers interested in a fresh introduction to the art that lies at the center of Western civilization.