On Poetry, the latest addition to the Oberon Masters series, is a collection of short essays and reflections on poetry from the acclaimed British poet Glyn Maxwell. These essays illustrates Maxwell’s poetic philosophy, that the greatest verse arises from a harmony of mind and body, and that poetic forms originate in human necessities – breath, heartbeat, footstep, posture. He speaks of his inspirations, his models, and takes us inside the strange world of the Creative Writing Class, where four young hopefuls grapple with love, sex, cheap wine and hard work. Illustrated with examples from canonical poets, this is a beautiful and accessible guide to the most ancient and sublime of the realms of literature. 'The most compelling, original, charismatic and poetic guide to poetry that I can remember. A handbook written from the heart by one of the true modern masters of the craft.' Simon Armitage
How do I read a poem? Do I really understand poetry? This comprehensive guide demystifies the world of poetry, exploring poetic forms and traditions which can at first seem bewildering. Showing how any reader can gain more pleasure from poetry, it looks at the ways in which poetry interacts with the language we use in our everyday lives and explores how poems use language and form to create meaning. Drawing on examples ranging from Chaucer to children's rhymes, Cole Porter to Carol Ann Duffy, and from around the English-speaking world, it looks at aspects including: how technical aspects such as rhythm and measures work how different tones of voice affect a poem how poetic language relates to everyday language how different types of poetry work, from sonnets to free verse how the form and 'space' of a poem contributes to its meaning. Poetry: The Basics is an invaluable and easy to read guide for anyone wanting to get to grips with reading and writing poetry.
Xhosa oral poetry has defied the threats to its integrity over two centuries, to take its place in a free South Africa. This volume establishes the background to this poetic re-emergence, preserving and transmitting the voice of the Xhosa poet.
Poetry is philosophically interesting, writes Gerald L. Bruns, "when it is innovative not just in its practices, but, before everything else, in its poetics (that is, in its concepts or theories of itself)." In The Material of Poetry, Bruns considers the possibility that anything, under certain conditions, may be made to count as a poem. By spelling out such enabling conditions he gives us an engaging overview of some of the kinds of contemporary poetry that challenge our notions of what language is: sound poetry, visual or concrete poetry, and "found" poetry. Poetry's sense and meaning can hide in the spaces in which it is written and read, says Bruns, and so he urges us to become anthropol...
Pattern poetry—poetry from before 1900 that fuses literature and visual art—has existed since the times of ancient Crete and Egypt. Less well known than modern visual poetry, pattern poetry has been produced in most European and American literatures, and, as close analogues, in many oriental literatures. This book tells the history of pattern poetry, documenting and classifying more than 2,000 works. Illustrations of each major genre of pattern poem are included. The book also explores related forms, such as graphic music notations, shaped prose, sound poetry, and poetic labyrinths, to name a few. A glossary, essays by two world authorities on the oriental analogues to the pattern poem, and the first full bibliography on pattern poetry complete the work. With this book, Dick Higgins has provided an indispensable tool for opening up the area of pattern poetry to the scholar and the lay reader alike, bringing order to what has been an obscure and confusing area, and delighting the eye and mind by casting light on these forgotten treasures.
The voice that comes through this book is daring rather than desperate, decisive rather than doleful, and fairly composed, given the constraints that govern the lives of the featured poets, as women and as artists.