The Poetry Toolkit: The Essential Guide to Studying Poetry

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9781847060495: The Poetry Toolkit: The Essential Guide to Studying Poetry
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Getting to grips with poetry and its terminology can be one of the most intimidating parts of literary study. The Poetry Toolkit helps with this problem by giving clear and concise guidance about reading and discussing poetry in an easy-to-use format. By providing accessible commentary on the formal traditions of poetry across the ages and by emphasizing the empowering effect of technical vocabulary, this book encourages confidence and enjoyment. Its simple and clear explanations of key terms, genres and concepts enable readers to develop a richer, more sophisticated approach to reading, thinking and writing about poems. Moving from introductory overviews to short sections on key concepts, forms and topics, each entry includes a technical definition, a review of its historical and cultural significance, illustrative examples from a range of poems and finally additional reading and suggestions for further work. The Poetry Toolkit offers a practical solution to the difficulties of...

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Review:

'Rhian Williams guides you through a study of poetry from the early epics, such as Beowulf, through to contemporary work. Along the way, you will study the traditions of poetry and the way in which it works and will acquire an understanding of how, for example, metrical patterns and rhythm work and also how stress emphasis relates to metre and plays a role in the creation of the metrical patterns. You will also explore rhymed and unrhymed verse as well as free verse and blank verse. And of course you will look at the whole range of poetic forms including the sonnet, the villanelle, the ottava rima, the ballad and many more. So the tools of the toolkit in the title are ones to help you build an understanding of exactly how poetry works.
It is a study that any writer will find beneficial, not only if they aspire to write poetry but also because poetry is having an increasing influence on contemporary prose and an understanding of it is therefore important whatever genre you work in' --Writers Magazine

'This is an inspirational guide to studying poetry, exciting for beginners and experienced readers alike. A tour de force of succinctness, clarity, and adroit cross referencing, it is not only a tour through every conceivable feature a reader could need - from the sonnet form to synloepha, from sesta rima to syllepsis - but an imaginative and arresting exposition of the way poets have used them, whether Dante or David Jones, Sappho or E E Cummings, Milton or Deryn Rees-Jones. Rhian Williams aims to set readers free by building confidence with genre and form, metre and rhyme, demystifying technicalities and terminology, providing follow up reading, and appealing to curiosity and the sense of experiment. She urges readers to read poems aloud, to listen to sounds, mark rhythms, and imagine themselves inside the poem before moving out to its history and context. After reading this book newcomers to poetry will learn to love reading and writing about it.' ---

'With a refreshing clarity and concision the volume traverses a field which has a reputation for being jargon-laden and intimidating. The simplicity of the book's style, however, sacrifices none of the complexities of its topic.' --English Studies, Nov 2010

About the Author:

Rhian Williams is the Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the AHRC 'Brownings Correspondence Project' at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

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