The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide

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Macmillan, Sep 1, 1999 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 129 pages
21 Reviews
The Poet Laureate's clear and entertaining account of how poetry works.

"Poetry is a vocal, which is to say a bodily, art," Robert Pinsky declares in The Sounds of Poetry. "The medium of poetry is the human body: the column of air inside the chest, shaped into signifying sounds in the larynx and the mouth. In this sense, poetry is as physical or bodily an art as dancing."

As Poet Laureate, Pinsky is one of America's best spokesmen for poetry. In this fascinating book, he explains how poets use the "technology" of poetry--its sounds--to create works of art that are "performed" in us when we read them aloud.

He devotes brief, informative chapters to accent and duration, syntax and line, like and unlike sounds, blank and free verse. He cites examples from the work of fifty different poets--from Shakespeare, Donne, and Herbert to W. C. Williams, Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, C. K. Williams, Louise Glück, and Frank Bidart.

This ideal introductory volume belongs in the library of every poet and student of poetry.
  

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I give it two stars because Pinsky's writing is lovely. - Goodreads
Otherwise, it's called prose.) - Goodreads
... you say…more advice, more instruction! - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GraceZ - LibraryThing

A very interesting book on some interesting subjects. I was a little thrown by the way Pinsky tried to keep everything from getting too analytic - for example, the way he introduced terms but did not ... Read full review

Review: The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide

User Review  - Rory Armstrong - Goodreads

I acquired this book as I wished to start reading poetry and was a bit daunted about how. This book offers a short but precise introduction into the art of poetry and an encouragement to speak, not ... Read full review

Contents

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Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Robert Pinsky is Poet Laureate of the United States. FSG published The Inferno of Dante in 1994 and The Figured Wheel in 1996. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University and lives in Newton Corner, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic information