Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 194 pages
40 Reviews
"True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, / As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance," wrote Alexander Pope. "The dance," in the case of Oliver's brief and luminous book, refers to the interwoven pleasures of sound and sense to be found in some of the most celebrated and beautiful poems in the English language, from Shakespeare to Edna St. Vincent Millay to Robert Frost. With a poet's ear and a poet's grace of expression, Oliver shows what makes a metrical poem work - and enables readers, as only she can, to "enter the thudding deeps and the rippling shallows of sound-pleasure and rhythm-pleasure that intensify both the poem's narrative and its ideas."
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
18
4 stars
15
3 stars
3
2 stars
2
1 star
2

An excellent introduction to meter in poetry. - Goodreads
Good reference book for any poet. - Goodreads
Oliver's writing style, though occasionally a bit... - Goodreads
Now for some more work in the writing category... - Goodreads

Review: Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse

User Review  - Bill Martin - Goodreads

Read this back-to-back with Mary Oliver's "A Poetry Handbook." Both books together make a sane and sound introduction to understanding, reading and writing poetry. The author is deceptively simple in ... Read full review

Review: Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse

User Review  - Robert - Goodreads

I really liked this book. Mary Oliver is a modern poet and wrote this book about how to read and write poetry that has rhyme and metre. It was fun, as I am reading more and more poetry these days. At ... Read full review

Contents

Breath
3
Patterns
6
More About Patterns
19
Line Length
29
Release of Energy Along the Line
36
Rhyme
40
Traditional Forms
50
Words on a String
57
Mutes and Other Sounds
60
The Use of Meter in NonMetric Verse
62
The Ohs and the Ahs
65
ImageMaking
67
Reading the Metrical Poem
87
Then and Now
103
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1998)

Mary Oliver is one of the most celebrated and best-selling poets in America. Her books include Red Bird; Our World; Thirst; Blue Iris; New and Selected Poems, Volume One; and New and Selected Poems, Volume Two. She has also published five books of prose, including Rules for the Dance and, most recently, Long Life. She lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic information