Originally written in 2000 as his Masters thesis, Raymond P. Hammonds Poetic Amusement has been passed around underground as a digital file for ten years among those associated with The New York Quarterly. As provocative today as it was when it was written, what began as Hammonds observations of the influence of po biz and writing programs on contemporary American poetry became a timeless treatise on poetry itself. Using his experience with NYQ and devouring many literary critics across the ages from the ancient Greeks to contemporary critics, Hammond examines at once both our current literary environment and the essence of poetry. In seeking to answer the questions What is poetry? and Where does poetry come from? for himself, he encourages readers to ask those questions for and of themselves as well. Relevant and accessible to readers and writers of poetry and to those who think they dont know or want to know what poetry is, Poetic Amusement will anger, elevate and inspire all those who read it.