Making Poems and Their Meanings

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Bloodaxe Books, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 64 pages
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Desmond Graham reflects in three lectures on how poems are nourished and how reading can grow.
Opening the Door celebrates the unsung companions essential to the nourishment of poetry: the thoughtful friend, or the clear-headed reader on whom all writers depend; the spirits of the dead in the texts we read, or the labouring scholarly editors.
The Unheard Prompter demonstrates how poets can control meaning through formal elements: from Shakespeare's voice held in the iambs of his sonnets, to Wordsworth's arguing pronouns; from Herbert's irresistible orchestra, to the problems of punctuation in Gurney.
No Less Than Bread asks how does the poet write, thinking poetry a lie? How does poetry sustain the poet through impossibility? How does poetry, which solves nothing, offer a way of answering? Starting with Rozewicz and Radnoti, and moving from post-war European poetry back to David Jones and In Parenthesis, this final lecture asks what poems mean, what knowledge they carry, and how do we read them to find out?

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Opening the Door
The Unheard Prompter
No Less Than Bread

About the author (2007)

Desmond Graham is Emeritus Professor of Poetry at Newcastle University.

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