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Paperback The Making of a Poem : A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms Book

ISBN: 0393321789

ISBN13: 9780393321784

The Making of a Poem : A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Two of our foremost poets provide here a lucid, straightforward primer that "looks squarely at some of the headaches and mysteries of poetic form": a book for readers who have always felt that an understanding of form (sonnet, ballad, villanelle, sestina, among others) would enhance their appreciation of poetry. Tracing "the exuberant history of forms," they devote one chapter to each form, offering explanation, close reading, and a rich selection...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


Being fairly new to poetry, I purchased this book as an introduction to poetic forms, and it does not disappoint. The authors have cultivated a fantastic guide to many of the more popular forms of the modern era, and a few less popular forms. I found the chapters on the Villanelle and on Blank Verse to alone be worth the minimal price tag. The descriptions are terse but wholly concise. The choices the authors made for examples are so perfect that this book could work simply as an anthology of great poems. It is not, though, an all-around introduction to poetry, meter is barely touched upon, and some lesser forms are not given mention, but as books on important poetic forms go, I could hardly recommend another.

Clear, concise and useful

This book gives a brief history of a form, information on its construction, and follows these with examples of the form in use. The examples begin with older, classic poems in the form and are followed by more modern adaptations. I have found more modern examples lacking in many of the books I have read on form. Seeing more recent examples helps illustrate the usefulness of form to the modern writer. It could also be extremely helpful to writers in adapting traditional forms to their own work. The descriptions of the forms are terse, but quite adequate, assuming the reader already knows what an iamb is. The examples are well-chosen and varied. It gives a good basic understanding of the forms it discusses and would be a wonderful starting point for writing formed verse.

A Fine Introductory Tome

I have enjoyed learning about these forms, some for the first time. I have enjoyed using this book in my writing groups. Some of the examples chosen are certainly exquisite. ... Though I will likely look into other more developed treatments. Nonetheless I heartily recommend this one; the authors balance enthusiasm with scholarly laissez-faire.

One of the best books on poetry

There are many books about "what poetry is," especially in this time when Contemporary American poetry has taken off. This one is one of the best and should be included in all poetry collections. This book is the only one I have found that shows the poetic forms and their contemporary contexts (after all, free verse borrows from the forms). This book also joins the Contemporary and Modern poets with the Romantics, Classical, et al. Both Strand's and Boland's essays and views should be embraced for their insight and knowledge--did the negative reviewers actually read this book? The Making of a Poem is a treasure that acknowledges and celebrates poetry, moving past what the title implies.

A Must for Lovers of Poetry

This book is a must for anyone who loves formal poetry (sonnets, villanelles, pantoums e.t.c.). After decades of so called "free verse" the formal poem is making a come back. This book explains each form in detail, provides the history of the form and many of the best examples. A "close up" on each form tells about an individual poet who uses that form. It would make a perfect text for a course on formal poetry. In fact, the teacher that recommended it to me uses it in her college courses.
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