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Poetry for Dummies [Paperback]

By The Poetry Center (Author) & John Timpane (Author)
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Item description for Poetry for Dummies by The Poetry Center & John Timpane...

Offers advice on how to read and write poetry, discussing different types of poetry, ways to develop one's own creative voice, and how to get one's work published, with a listing of the best publications for first-time poets.

Publishers Description
Sometimes it seems like there are as many definitions of poetry as there are poems. Coleridge defined poetry as "the best words in the best order." St. Augustine called it "the Devil's wine." For Shelley, poetry was "the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds." But no matter how you define it, poetry has exercised a hold upon the hearts and minds of people for more than five millennia. That's because for the attentive reader, poetry has the power to send chills shooting down the spine and lightning bolts flashing in the brain -- to throw open the doors of perception and hone our sensibilities to a scalpel's edge.

"Poetry For Dummies" is a great guide to reading and writing poems, not only for beginners, but for anyone interested in verse. From Homer to Basho, Chaucer to Rumi, Shelley to Ginsberg, it introduces you to poetry's greatest practitioners. It arms you with the tools you need to understand and appreciate poetry in all its forms, and to explore your own talent as a poet. Discover how to: Understand poetic language and formsInterpret poemsGet a handle on poetry through the agesFind poetry readings near youWrite your own poemsShop your work around to publishers

Don't know the difference between an iamb and a trochee? Worry not, this friendly guide demystifies the jargon, and it covers a lot more ground besides, including: Understanding subject, tone, narrative; and poetic languageMastering the three steps to interpretationFacing the challenges of older poetryExploring 5,000 years of verse, from Mesopotamia to the global villageWriting open-form poetryWorking with traditional forms of verseWriting exercises for aspiring poetsGetting published

From Sappho to Clark Coolidge, and just about everyone in between, "Poetry For Dummies" puts you in touch with the greats of modern and ancient poetry. Need guidance on composing a ghazal, a tanka, a sestina, or a psalm? This is the book for you.

Promise Angels is dedicated to bringing you great books at great prices. Whether you read for entertainment, to learn, or for literacy - you will find what you want at!

Item Specifications...

Studio: For Dummies
Pages   309
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 7.36" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 15, 2001
Publisher   For Dummies
ISBN  0764552724  
ISBN13  9780764552724  
UPC  785555033146  

Availability  5 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 27, 2017 10:53.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About The Poetry Center & John Timpane

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The Poetry Center in San Francisco sponsors readings and awards and houses a renowned poetry archive. John Timpane, Ph.D., is the author of It Could Be Verse: Anybody's Guide to Poetry. Maureen Watts is a writer and longtime poetry activist who serves on the board of the National Poetry Association

The Poetry Center has published or released items in the following series...

  1. For Dummies

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education
6Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > General
7Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > Writing

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Reviews - What do customers think about Poetry for Dummies?

Don't know a Haiku from an Achoo? This Book's for You!  Dec 9, 2007
A few years ago I got in touch with my talent for writing poetry, and this book was one of the first I bought as a way to learn more about the variety of ways to write the little darlings.

An informative introduction to the writing of poetry for anyone who wants to try their own hand at it.

Easy to understand, detailed, and just plain fun to read.
"poetry for those who are severely retarded," would have been a better title.  May 5, 2007
i recently decided to have a go at the world of poetry. so i armed myself with a half-dozen, or so, books on the subject. this was one of them. I am a dummy. I am not retarded beyond hope, as the dummies who put this crappy book together seem to think. i bought it based on a blurb on the front cover by lawrence ferlinghetti, who i have heard is a highly regarded poet. I do not know what is going on here, but mr ferlinghetti should be ashamed of himself, calling this book "wonderful." let me share with you just a few bon mots from this thing. on page 11 we get this bit of wisdom: "Poetry isn't the only way of using language to make art, of course - for example, short stories and novels are works of art, too." REALLY. WHAT A REVELATION. let's now check out some advise on page 14: "Your local library is a great source for poetry - and best of all, it's free! When you visit your library, ask the librarian where the poetry section is." GREAT STUFF. But page 21 has something even better. Check this out: "If you really like certain lines, reread and enjoy them again." INCREDIBLE ADVICE. I would have never thought of that myself. and it just goes on and on. page 28 tells the reader this: "Become as sensitive as you can, both to life and to language." BRILLIANT. And check out this nugget of wisdom from page 31: "When you read poetry, make sure you're open to what the poem is about. Your frame of mind is best when you're Alert. Pay close attention to the poem." WOW. HEAVY. I could go on & on here, but i'll share just one more. this is perhaps my favorite. from page 41 comes this genius observation: "Language is what successful poets are good with. Whether they're born or made, poets are language people." POETS ARE LANGUAGE PEOPLE! Glad that was cleared up for me. Holy mackerel, people. what is going on out in the world? every other person who reviewed this book gave it 5 stars. FIVE! gee, i wonder why the world is a mess? anyway, if you are thinking about buying this book, i have shared with you a glimpse of the wisdom to be found between its covers. you decide. but if you have two brain cells to rub together, i would avoid this horrible waste of money like the plague.
A great read  Jan 6, 2007
The authors have a gift for writing good simple prose as well as good poetry. Like others I had my doubts about this book but it was a surprise. It was so well written that I found it hard to put down. I've read it many times but still have it close by to aid me in my poetic jottings. What I liked best was their style of writing, very hip and trendy. It brings poetry into the 21st century.
Helpful for beginners!   Jun 20, 2006
It's good for getting acquainted with some famous poets and some poetic forms. I'd recommend it for high school students. For those with basic knowledge of poetry and meters and scheme, I'd recommend "How to Read a Poem: and fall in love with poetry" by Edward Hirsch, which helps with the art of interpreting. But it's not as easy reading as this book (which I applaud for it simplicity).
Never Expected it to Be This Good.....  Mar 28, 2004
Poetry for Dummies was another of those books I was really hoping I didn't like. The whole "For Dummies" series gets on my nerves to begin with, so it is double trouble when I picked this title up and found it valuable on so many counts.

The opening section: Poetry 101 is an excellent read and in and of itself makes the book worth the purchase.

Each chapter clearly marks the intent across the top and is chock filled with check lists, hints and suggestions for the reader AND the practicing (new and old alike) poet. I was thinking, "This will all be old hat, I am sure" until I saw the authors include the staff from The Poetry Center in San Francisco.

What poet or poet-in-the-making doesn't nod, smile and point when we read this affirmation? "Poetry has more meaning, music and emotion per words, per syllable, per letter than any other kind of writing." (I could have sworn I heard an "Amen!" from the crowd or maybe... that was me.)

The book also includes some very valuable appendices with websites and poetry organizations.

Excellent resource for all poets and the people who love them. Check this one out.


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