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Paperback Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry Book

ISBN: 0155826107

ISBN13: 9780155826106

Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

There's no better way for you to learn about poetry and to understand its elements than with PERRINE'S SOUND AND SENSE: AN INTRODUCTION TO POETRY. Both a concise introduction to poetry and an... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

sound and sense

I had an old paperback copy of this book while in college many many years ago. I had bought it used and it was pretty beat up, but I still read parts of it from time to time. I decided to get a hardback copy and was surprised to find it had been updated and re-issued 10 or 11 times since I graduated college. I am very pleased with the updates and with my new copy.


Where has this book been all my life? Perrine's Sound and Sense is not just about poetry, it's a thorough yet concise discussion of the English language and writing. Some reviewers have panned it for offering insight to poetry--they feel that poems should not be explained but should be experienced individually. For the uninitiated though, some direction is often desired. At times Perrine's does not offer enough explanation for me. Many of the notes on the poems offer only a smidgen of insight but do proffer several questions to generate thought and discussion. These questions do often provide clues to a poem's meaning. I'm still guessing about many of the poems, but at least now, I think I'm on the right track.

Ninth Edition Available, Titled Perrine's Sound and Sense

This textbook stematically explores poetic form and structure. This approach could have been quite limiting, but Perrine manages to analyze poetry without undermining his central message: poetry is to be enjoyed. I highly recommend this book to both readers new to poetry and those that already have considerable familiarity with the major poets. A ninth edition is available, but with a title change. Sound and Sense is now Perrine's Sound and Sense. Look for more reviews under this new title (ISBN 0155030280).

A Superb Introduction to Poetry and Poetic Form

I came across an early edition of Sound and Sense a few years ago. At first glance the slighty yellowed text appeared foreboding with chapters like denotation and connotation, imagery, figurative lanaguage, allusion, tone, rhythm and meter, sound and meaning, and so forth. I found it hard to imagine a less lifeless approach to poetry. However, the text did seem to contain a sizeable anthology as an appendix and poetry was abundant in every chapter. I reasoned that I could skip the poetic structure discussions and simply read the poetry. But from the beginning I found Perrine's style and approach to be stimulating, rather than analytical. Throughout we are immersed in poetry, great poetry, familiar poetry, unfamiliar poetry. Perrine argues that poetry needs to be read and reread carefully for full understanding and appreciation. We need to learn to think about poetry with some seriousness, but not in a cold, calculating manner. We approach new poetry with our eyes and ears open, our senses alive. Yes, as other reviewers point out, Sound and Sense is structured and does methodically explore poetic forms in some detail. But this is not a drawback. It is actually an aid to understanding. Perrine manages to achieve his instructional objective without diluting his central message: poetry is to be enjoyed. He never forgets that his subject is poetry, and not poetic form and structure. I have since learned that Perrine's text is still in use today, nearly fifty years after publication of the first edition. (See recent 10th edition 0155073966, June 8, 2000.) How can that be? Few textbooks achieve ten printings, much less ten editions. Even the title change signifies respect; it is no longer simply Sound and Sense, it is "Perrine's Sound and Sense". I highly recommend Perine's text to anyone willing to invest a little time and study to poetry. The return will be worthwhile. I give Sound and Sense five stars.

Great for classroom use!

Perrine's Sound and Sense provides a through review of various poems through the ages. With thought provoking questions for the reader, this book has helped my Advanced Placement English class with poetry analysis. I highly recommend this book for both teachers and avid poets.
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